Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday raised with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath the issue of problems being faced by Varanasi weavers, urging him to restore the scheme of providing electricity to them at a flat rate.
In a letter to Adityanath, the Congress general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh said it has come to her notice that from some time Varanasi’s weavers were very worried and desperate.
"The families of the weavers of Banarasi sarees, famous in the whole world, are desperate for making ends meet,” she said in her letter in Hindi.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and government policies, the entire business of weavers has been destroyed despite the fact that they have made Uttar Pradesh’s name famous with their craft for ages, she said.
The Uttar Pradesh government should help them in this difficult period, Priyanka Gandhi said.
"The UPA government had implemented a scheme of providing weavers electricity at a flat rate in 2006, but your government is doing injustice to the weavers by discontinuing that scheme,” she said in the letter.
Priyanka Gandhi said the weavers have told her that when they held a strike against arbitrary power bills, the government called them for a dialogue and officials assured them that their demands will be considered, but despite that no efforts were made to solve their problems.
In the letter, Priyanka Gandhi made three main demands — the scheme to provide electricity to them at flat rate be restored, their "harassment" in the name of "fake" outstanding bills be stopped and their electricity connections should not be cut while the already cut connections be restored.
"I hope you will take these demands seriously and take constructive steps,” she said.
Her letter to the Uttar Pradesh chief minister comes days after she interacted with weavers from Varanasi and assured them that the Congress was standing with them against injustice of all kinds.
Priyanka Gandhi had on Monday interacted with around 40 to 50 weavers through videoconferencing and heard the various problems being faced by them.
The weavers had apprised her about the problems arising out of power tariff hike and also how their connections are being snapped.