Transporter’s death: Government’s credibility at stake, says Indira Hridayesh
Leader of the Opposition Indira Hridayesh on Saturday said the BJP government’s credibility was at stake for evading the responsibility of providing financial aid to the family of debt-ridden transporter Prakash Pandeydehradun Updated: Jan 13, 2018 20:45 IST
Leader of Opposition Indira Hridayesh on Saturday said the BJP government’s credibility was at stake for evading the responsibility of providing financial aid to the family of debt-ridden transporter Prakash Pandey.
The Haldwani transporter had consumed a poisonous substance before attending a ‘Janata Darshan’ (public grievance redressal) programme at the BJP’s headquarters in Dehradun on January 6. Later, he died at a hospital on January 9. In a video, Pandey blamed demonetisation, Goods and Services Tax and the ‘insensitivity’ of the BJP governments for his financial crisis.
Kaladhungi’s BJP legislator Banshidhar Bhagat had spoken to chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and subsequently asked the Nainital district magistrate to announce ex gratia of Rs 12 lakh to the transporter’s family “based on the CM’s assurance”.
Hridayesh said the district administration provided Rs 2 lakh to the family but the government later dissociated itself from the announcement claiming that compensation to a suicide victim’s family would encourage more such deaths.
“Not fulfilling an assurance (made to a bereaved family) puts the credibility of the government at stake, irrespective of the party which is in power. We (the Congress) don’t wish to endorse suicide either but want help for Pandey’s family as it had been promised earlier,” Hridayesh told Hindustan Times in an interview.
Darshan Singh Rawat, the chief minister’s media coordinator, confirmed that there had been “no decision on the government’s behalf so far to provide monetary assistance to Pandey’s family”. He refused to comment on Bhagat’s letter in which he spoke about the CM’s assurance.
In a video shot before he consumed poison, Pandey had claimed while he had failed to get any help from the CM, it was “only Hridayesh who could help his family”. The transporter’s office was based in Haldwani – a part of Hridayesh’s constituency - while his house is in Kathgodam, which falls in Kaladhungi constituency.
“He expected help from me even though he was a BJP supporter. The government cannot shy away from its responsibility,” the Congress leader said. Hridayesh said she told the CM that one cannot be “too idealistic in government” all the time. “There’s a difference between being idealistic and being practical…at times, one has to take decision according to time and circumstances.”