'Only Publicity': Priyanka Gandhi on UP's job scheme launched by PM Modi

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Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday targeted the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh over its employment generation programme which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday. The Congress general secretary incharge of eastern UP affairs, asked the government if only “publicity” will create jobs for the migrant workers in the state.

“Yesterday, an employment event was started in UP with a lot of fanfare,” Priyanka Gandhi said in a Facebook post quoted by PTI before underlining incidents of suicide in the state amongst the migrant workers to question the government.

“Recently, the incidents of suicide by migrant labourers from outside in Bundelkhand are before us. Tragic incidents of suicide have come to light in Kanpur due to financial constraints and lack of employment,” her facebook post quoted by the agency said.

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“In such a situation, what is the UP government trying to hide? Will only publicity provide employment?” the Congress leader asked.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the Atma Nirbhar Uttar Pradesh Rojgar Abhiyan on Friday as part of the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan that he had announced nationally on June 20 covering 116 districts from six states. The programme aims to provide employment to migrant labourers who had returned to their home states after jobs and livelihoods dried up during the lockdown period.

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Over 30 lakh migrant labourers have returned to India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh alone. Friday’s launch was in line with chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s declared commitment to create employment opportunities for them at home. He only recently announced the constitution of a migrants’ commission to create conditions for their employment and rights.

The Atmanirbhar UP Rojgar Abhiyan is also a part of the same exercise by the state government to provide jobs, promote local entrepreneurship and enhance employment opportunities by partnerships with industrial associations.

Uttar Pradesh’s 31 districts have been selected under the national scheme announced by the Prime Minister which will further aid in the state government’s ambitious programme to create 25 categories of works and 1.25 crore jobs for the migrants.

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Priyanka Gandhi said that this was easier said than done and alleged that the state government was ignoring the ground realities.

“Most of the categories of employment mentioned at the event are facing problems. Self-employed people are in tremendous crisis due to lack of direct financial support from the government. The condition of small and medium scale industries is so bad that it is estimated that 62 per cent of MSMEs will cut jobs and 78 per cent will cut wages,” she was quoted as saying in her post.

She singled out “the bad condition of the chikan industry, woodwork, brass industry, powerloom sector, the carpet industry” in Uttar Pradesh to hammer her point home.

In line with the party’s offensive against the state government, The state unit of the Congress party had yesterday organised a “mazdoor panchayat” in Lucknow to discuss the problems being faced by migrant workers during the current coronavirus induced crisis and described the UP government as anti-labourer.

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