Varanasi weavers forced to pledge jewellery, houses to survive: Priyanka

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday took a potshot at the Uttar Pradesh government, alleging that weavers in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency Varanasi “are being forced to pledge their jewellery and houses (to creditors) to survive”.

She said that only a concrete financial package can help them surive amid loss of livelihood due to coronavirus pandemic.

“Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told the PM at an event that lakhs of jobs are being provided in small and medium industries. But the reality is that weavers, who are the pride of Varanasi, PM’s parliamentary constituency, are today forced to live by pledging their jewellery and houses. All their work has come to a standstill during the lockdown,” she said in a tweet in Hindi.

Priyanka Gandhi said the condition of small entrepreneurs and artisans is bad.

“Only a concrete financial package — and not mere propaganda — can help them emerge from this crisis,” she said, tagging a news report from Varanasi that said that weavers are being forced to pledge their jewellery and houses to survive.

Her remarks came five days after the Chief Minister claimed to have launched a programme to ensure jobs to over 1.25 crore people in the state.

On Tuesday, she accused the state of trying to cover up “massive unemployment” through advertisements, and said the ground reality was far different as 1.5 lakh residents have left the state in search of employment.