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Uttar Pradesh

Priyanka, Adityanath fire political salvos on Twitter

March 25, 2019 06:23 AM


Manish Chandra Pandey
Priyanka, Adityanath fire political salvos on Twitter
LUCKNOW: Congress general secretary (east UP) Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s tweets on sugarcane dues worth Rs 10,000 crore in Uttar Pradesh’s cane belt and the status of women health workers sparked a political slugfest about two weeks ahead of the first phase of polls in western UP. The regions that go to polls in the first phase in western UP on April 11 are largely known as the cane belt.

The united opposition had succeeded in making sugarcane dues an issue in the Kairana by-poll that the BJP lost in May 2018.

The BJP camp took Priyanka’s first tweet as a ploy to provoke sentiments in western UP, which is why chief minister Yogi Adityanath made it a point to refer to how his government made record payments to cane farmers.

Hours later, Priyanka again targeted the UP government by raising the issue poor payment to Asha women health workers in the state. In her second tweet, she said that each Asha worker only got Rs 600 as honorarium despite the fact that she takes care of a pregnant woman’s health for nine months. The BJP government, she said, never cared about them. “Unhe jumle nahi, jawaab chahiye (they don’t want lip service, they want answer),” she tweeted with photos of health workers. Hitting back, Adityanath tweeted, “The new rower of Congress’s sinking boat is busy misleading people. Where was the well-wisher of Asha sisters? Sleep over? Apart from Rs 600, an additional Rs 300 are given for high risk pregnancy care. The government has only recently announced upgradation of payment to Rs 750. Last year the average payment made to Asha health workers were Rs 2865 per month. This has been further increased to Rs 4000 after an increase of Rs 1000 by the centre. Coupled with the state government hike, the total amount paid to health workers is around Rs 5000 now.”

Congress general secretary (west UP) Jyotiraditya Scindia too took to Twitter, criticising the BJP governments at the centre and in the state. “The pending sugarcane dues of Rs 10,000 crore are a big example of ineffectiveness of the present government. Farmers of Meerut, Baghpat, Kairana, Saharanpur, Bijnor and Muzaffarnagar would respond to this injustice on April 11,” Scindia tweeted. For his part, Adityanath tweeted, “Ever since our government came to power, we have cleared arrears worth a record Rs 57,800 crore. This amount is more than the budget of several states. Previous SP-BSP governments did nothing for sugarcane farmers which resulted in them getting struck by penury.”

He followed it up with another tweet asking where the “so called ‘well-wishers’ of farmers” were earlier. “From 2012 to 2017, the farmers were struck by penury but why is it that only now these well wishers have woken up? Sugarcane farming has seen 22 percent growth and the crop is now grown in 28 lakh hectares across the state. The farmers are happy now,” he tweeted.

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