Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday launched a fresh attack against the Yogi Adityanath government, accusing it of leaving people to die during the lockdown imposed last year to prevent spread of COVID-19.
“The BJP government put up barricades and did not allow them (migrant workers) to enter the state. The government left people like orphans to die. Laborer brothers put their lives at risk and had to walk hundreds of kilometers to reach their home on foot,” Akhilesh said at a rally in Lalitpur district’s Ginaut Bagh locality.
Samajwadi Party allies Om Prakash Rajbhar and RS Kushwaha shared the dais with the former chief minister at the rally.
According to the former chief minister, the pictures seen across Uttar Pradesh during the pandemic “were not even seen during the Partition.”
The migrants were kept in cow shelters, Akhilesh alleged.
“Had there been our government in the state, not a single labourer would have been allowed to walk on foot. They would have been given a vehicle to reach their destination,” the SP leader told the crowd.
Restrictions during last year’s COVID lockdown had stung millions of India’s poor, leaving many hungry and forcing jobless migrant labourers to flee cities and walk hundreds of kilometres to their native villages.
Criticisms mounted over a lack of adequate planning ahead of the Narendra Modi government’s lockdown decision. Opposition leaders, analysts, and citizens were increasingly criticizing its implementation.