Priyanka Gandhi interacting with locals in Baswar village in UP's Prayagraj on Sunday.(Anil Kumar Maurya/HT PHOTO)
Priyanka Gandhi interacting with locals in Baswar village in UP's Prayagraj on Sunday.(Anil Kumar Maurya/HT PHOTO)

Centre, UP govt working for big business houses’ welfare: Priyanka Gandhi

  • Priyanka Gandhi Vadra accused the BJP government of taking cover under the National Green Tribunal’s orders to provide benefits to the mining mafia and big industrialists to exploit natural resources.
PUBLISHED ON FEB 21, 2021 08:04 PM IST

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday said the central and Uttar Pradesh governments were working for the welfare of big business houses and not for those who had voted them to power.

Interacting with members of the Nishad community at Baswar village in the trans-Yamuna region here, Priyanka targeted the Centre and said like the three new farm laws, the laws applicable to rivers were for the benefit of industrialists rather than fishermen and boatmen.

The Congress leader visited Baswar village to meet members of the Nishad community, who have alleged that they were recently beaten up and their boats damaged when a team of district administration and police took action against illegal sand miners in the area.

Addressing locals, the Congress general secretary said, “Farmers are agitating against the unjust farm laws in the country and here you people were targeted. All this is because the government has forgotten that it was your vote which has given them power to rule and now they have forgotten you (voters) and instead are working for the welfare of industrialists, neglecting your welfare.”

Priyanka assured them of fighting for their rights on sand mining and ensuring that the issue is raised in Parliament.

“Taking cover under the National Green Tribunal’s orders, the BJP government is providing benefits to mining mafia and big industrialists, who are exploiting the natural resources,” she said.

On February 4, a team of officials, accompanied by heavy police force, had raided the ghats in Baswar and Mohabbatganj in a crackdown against illegal sand mining. The villagers later alleged that policemen assaulted them, including women and damaged their boats. However, the police denied the allegations and said persons involved in illegal mining pelted them with stones. An FIR was also lodged against locals in this connection.

This was Priyanka’s second visit to Prayagraj in the last 10 days. She had visited Sangam and taken a dip in the holy water on Mauni Amavsya on February 11.

Referring to her Ganga Yatra in 2019, she said “When I undertook the Ganga Yatra, I was informed how you people were earlier given lease of resources of the river so that you could earn your livelihood. Now, the present government has snatched away the rights of those who live near the rivers, affecting the livelihood of thousands of families. Policy makers across the world understand that people dependent for their livelihood on the forests or rivers can never harm them. However, in contrast, big business houses are not directly dependent on these resources and, therefore, exploit these natural gifts without caring about the welfare of the rivers, forests and animals.”

Congress legislature party leader Aradhana Mishra, who accompanied Priyanka along with party’s state president Ajay Kumar Lallu and senior party leader Pramod Tiwari, said the party would raise the issue in the state assembly.


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