Opposition demands Rs 50 lakh aid to kin of those who died due to COVID-10 during UP poll duty

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Lucknow, Apr 29 (PTI) Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday demanded a compensation of Rs 50 lakh each to families of officers and teachers who allegedly died due to COVID-19 while performing their duty in the Uttar Pradesh panchayat polls.

Uttar Pradesh is among the 10 worst-hit states in terms of coronavirus deaths and cases. A record single-day rise of 298 COVID-19 fatalities in the state pushed the death toll to 12,241 on Thursday, while the infection tally mounted to 12,17,955 with 35,156 fresh cases.

Apparently referring to an allegation by a teachers’ union, Priyanka Gandhi tweeted, 'The news that about 500 teachers deployed in panchayat election duty died due to conronavirus is horrifying.” “Why were they sent on duty if their security arrangement was not proper? I support the demand for Rs 50 lakh each and job for family members of the teachers,' the Congress general secretary said in a tweet in Hindi.

SP chief Akhilesh Yadav also made the similar demand and said the financial assistance of Rs 50 lakh and jobs should be provided to the officers, teachers and employees who were deployed in the panchayat election duty.

'The government should provide Rs 50 lakh financial assistance to families of officers, teachers and employees who died of coronavirus due to panchayat polls duty,' he said in a separate tweet in Hindi.

'BJP government should provide security otherwise government employees and teachers will be forced to boycott counting duty,' he added.

The opposition Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) also echoed similar demands.

'Families of officers, teachers, employees and journalists who were tested positive for coronavirus while performing panchayat duties should be given Rs 50 lakh each,' RLD national secretary Anil Dubey said in a tweet in Hindi.

The fourth and final phase of the Uttar Pradesh panchayat polls was held on Thursday amid an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases in the state. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.