After row over 1,000 buses, BJP-Congress face off over Rajasthan govt raising Rs 36 lakh bill for return of Kota students

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Updated: May 23, 2020 2:15 PM

The Yogi government had in April sent 560 buses to bring them back. The UP Roadways, however, asked Rajasthan Roadways to provide some buses after it learnt that there were more students than the estimate.

kota, rajasthan government, rs 36 lakh billAbout 12,000 students from UP, studying in Kota for engineering and medical entrance exams were brought back to the state in the third week of April. (File photo IE)

The Bharatiya Janata Party has launched a fierce attack on Congress and its leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra after the Rajasthan government sent a bill of over Rs 36 lakh to the Uttar Pradesh government for facilitating the return of stranded students of the state from Kota. Party spokesperson Sambit Patra said that the hypocrisy of the Congress party has been exposed.

“10,000 students of Uttar Pradesh were stranded in Kota. The Yogi government sent 560 buses to bring them back. But it came to notice that there are 12,000 students. The UP government took help of 70 buses from the Rajasthan government to ferry them to Fatehpur/Jhansi border. Now, Priyanka Vadra’s Rajasthan government sent a bill of Rs 36 lakh. What a help,” Patra said.

“While returning from Kota, some Uttar Pradesh buses required diesel. Priyanka Vadra’s Rajasthan government opened office at midnight and demanded Rs 19 lakh from the Uttar Pradesh government before allowing buses to leave. Double-faced Congress,” he said.

The development comes amidst a raging controversy over Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s offer to run 1,000 buses to ferry stranded migrant workers back home from Delhi to Uttar Pradesh. These buses were brought from Rajasthan and were left idle at Agra border for almost three days. Also, the list of 1,000 buses submitted by Priyanka’s office was faulty as it contained registration numbers of trucks, two-wheelers, ambulances, three-wheelers and auto rickshaws.

According to UP Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma, the Congress government in Rajasthan raised a bill of Rs 19 lakh for diesel provided for Uttar Pradesh buses that were arranged to bring stranded students back from Kota. “We paid the bill,” he said, adding that Congress is a ‘two-faced’ party and stands exposed as he referred to Priyaka’s offer to run 1,000 buses for migrants.

Again on May 18, he said, the Rajasthan Congress sent the UPSRTC a reminder for the payment of another amount of Rs 36.36 lakh as the fare for the buses hired for bringing students from Kota to Agra.

“The UPSRTC paid the entire amount back on May 20,” he said.

The Yogi Adityanth government had in April sent 560 buses to Kota to bring back stranded students due to lockdown. The Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) asked Rajasthan Roadways to provide some buses after it learnt that there were more students than the estimate and also sought its help in arranging fuel for the UP buses.

According to UPSRTC, 94 buses of Rajasthan Roadways were used in the exercise and a bill of Rs 36 lakh was raised by the government for the services on Thursday. The Yogi Adityanath government cleared the dues on Friday. “UP government has cleared Rs 36 lakh bill sent by Rajasthan government for return of students from Kota,” an official told PTI.

Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati has lambasted the Congress government in Rajasthan for demanding Rs 36 lakh from the Uttar Pradesh government for arranging buses and fuels. She said the Rajasthan government’s demand shows its ‘depravity and inhumanity’.

“On the one hand, the Congress government in Rajasthan is charging exorbitant fare from students for buses to return to their homes, while on the other hand, they are claiming to provide buses for transporting the migrants to Uttar Pradesh. How appropriate or humane is this kind of political game?” she tweeted.

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