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U.P. plans free bus rides for women above 60

A U.P. Roadways official conducts thermal screening of passengers in a bus in Mathura. File

A U.P. Roadways official conducts thermal screening of passengers in a bus in Mathura. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s announcement on Wednesday that the State government would soon provide free travel in State-run buses for women above the age of 60, triggered a ‘freebie’ retort from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

The Chief Minister was speaking at a function to flag off 150 new diesel buses of the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation. He later tweeted, “Very soon, we are going to provide free bus rides in government buses to all women above 60 years. On the occasion of Raksha Bandhan, we are providing free bus service for women for 48 hours from tonight to August 12 midnight in collaboration with Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation.” State governments in Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Haryana too, have also announced free bus rides for women on Raksha Bandhan.

AAP greeted Mr. Adityanath’s announcement by pointing out that it was at odds with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stance that ‘freebies’ are a drag on development and an unfair burden on the taxpayer.

“After Bihar, there seems to be a rebellion against Modi ji in U.P. He says free revadi is harmful for the country, Yogi says free bus travel, free cylinder, free Scooty, free ration,” the party’s Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh posted on Twitter. AAP’s Delhi MLA Atishi also chipped in, “So Modi opposes freebies and Yogi proposes freebies. Battle lines are drawn within the BJP.”

Besides Mr. Modi’s recent comments hitting out against “revadi culture”, the Central government had also told the Supreme Court during a recent hearing on a petition to ban the practice of political parties promising “irrational freebies” that such offerings could lead to economic disaster for the country in the long run.

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Printable version | Sep 29, 2022 9:41:50 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/up-plans-free-bus-rides-for-women-above-60/article65755518.ece