Amid the political heat over Congress requisitioning buses for the stranded migrant workers, the party planned to arrange buses from May 13 and had arranged over 1,400 buses within three days and also secretly arranged over 300 buses near the border districts of Uttar Pradesh.
Senior party leaders said that Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is also party in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh was keeping a close tab on preparations being made by the party to arrange the buses for the stranded migrant workers, who have been walking hundred of kilometers on foot, bicycles, rickshaws, or carrying their parents, children on their shoulders.
The present build-up by the Congress has not come out of the blue.
A Congress leader, who was part of the team in arranging the buses and looking after the entire operation, wishing not to be named, told , "Planning to provide the buses for the migrant workers in Uttar Pradesh was made on May 13. And on the same day the party discussed the plan with Priyanka Gandhi and a go through was received."
He said, within three days, the party arranged the list of over 700 buses from Rajasthan's districts like Bharatpur, Dausa, Udaipur, Alwar and Jaipur.
He said the party had kept in reserve over 350 buses in Haryana, over 300 in Delhi and 300 in Uttar Pradesh.
Explaining the procedure of arranging the buses, the Congress leader, "We contacted the bus operators, who operated buses in several districts of these states."
He said, some of the operators had two, three, 10, 15 or 50 buses and they provided buses to us.
"Through this we had arranged over 1,400 buses in less than three days time for the migrant workers," he said.
"We hired them on rent on a per day basis," he said, adding that then the list of the buses were prepared and sent over to the Uttar Pradesh government.
And till date an amount of Rs 4.8 crore need to be paid to the bus operators. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party
( With inputs from IANS )