Delhi

Delhi govt.’s free pilgrimage scheme suspended temporarily

AAP has blamed BJP for the cancellation of trains

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday said that a scheme which provides free pilgrimage to senior citizens in Delhi has been temporarily suspended, as Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) has informed the Delhi government that they cannot provide trains.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, said, “Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana is temporarily suspended as the IRCTC intimated the Delhi government of the cancellation of trains scheduled from December 10 onwards.”

Mr. Sisodia said that he has asked time to meet the Union Railway Minister to discuss the issue and would try to resolve it soon.

AAP blamed the BJP for the cancellation of trains and termed it as “dirty politics”, adding that the BJP is “scared of losing the upcoming Assembly election in Delhi”.

BJP national secretary Maheish Giri termed the allegations as “cheap politics” and said that it has became a habit of the Delhi government to announce new schemes and hide their failures by blaming the Central government when it [Delhi government] is not able to complete them [Centre]. “The Central government made trains available for the ‘Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana’ during the elections in Karnataka and Jharkhand for troop movements and Mr. Kejriwal is trying to get political mileage from this issue,” he said.

“The BJP is trying to stall this project in despair of their impending defeat in the upcoming Vidhan Sabha election in Delhi. If the BJP thinks that stalling free pilgrimage for senior citizens will make them win the election, then I must say that it will have to fight the election with the curse of the senior citizens of Delhi,” said AAP Delhi convenor Gopal Rai at a press conference.

“Where will the four special trains, booked for Delhi’s senior citizens, be diverted to from December 10?” Mr. Rai asked the BJP.

“Since July this year, the Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana has been going well with the cooperation of the Indian Railways. We had undertaken an MoU with the IRCTC for the same. This scheme provided the elderly people in Delhi an invaluable opportunity to go for pilgrimage with the complete financial support of the Delhi government and thereby fulfilling one of their precious dreams. We hope that this unexpected difficulty will be resolved soon”, the Deputy Chief Minister added.

Since July 12, 32,828 elderly pilgrims from Delhi have visited 10 destinations in 34 trips, the government said.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 6:32:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/delhi-govts-free-pilgrimage-scheme-suspended-temporarily/article30280946.ece

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