Ludhiana, October 2
Passengers again encountered difficulties as approximately 142 government-run buses from Ludhiana were utilised to ferry AAP workers and supporters for party rally to Patiala on Monday. Opposition parties slammed the AAP government for allegedly misusing the government machinery for the rally.
Consequently, numerous passengers were compelled to opt for private buses. Even a number of women who used to travel free in government buses were reportedly compelled to use private buses today as a significant number of Punjab Roadways and PRTC buses were not available on various routes.
An official from the Transport Department confirmed that a total of 72 buses from the Punjab Roadways and nearly 70 buses from the PRTC in Ludhiana were allocated for the Patiala event today.
It has raised questions as to why a large number of government buses were deployed for the event, resulting in inconvenience for the public. A senior member of the Punjab Roadways, PUNBUS, and PRTC Contract Workers Union, Punjab, said: “Nearly 60 per cent of the government buses were not operating on their regular routes due to their deployment for the AAP’s rally in Patiala. It has not only inconvenienced regular passengers but has also inflicted significant financial losses on the department.”
This is not the first instance of government-run buses being used for an AAP political rally. In September, passengers experienced inconvenience when around 85 government-operated buses were used to transport AAP workers and supporters to an event in Amritsar, attended by AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal.
Ludhiana Congress president Sanjay Talwar criticised the AAP government for ‘misusing’ government resources. He said before the previous elections, AAP used to make baseless allegations against the Congress but AAP leaders had now set a precedent by deploying government buses for their rally. As a result of this large-scale bus deployment for the rally, residents were forced to endure inconvenience.
While slamming the AAP government, a former MLA of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Ranjit Singh Dhillon, said the people had been left to suffer as government machinery was used for the AAP’s rally held in Patiala.
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