NEW DELHI: Slamming the Uttar Pradesh government for conducting panchayat elections amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday said what is happening in the state is nothing less than a "crime against humanity" and the state election commission (SEC) is "playing along".
The Congress general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh claimed that 700 teachers, including one who was pregnant and forced to attend poll duty, have died in the state.
Polling for the four-phase panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh ended on Thursday.
A voter turnout of 75 per cent was recorded in the final phase.
"These elections have been conducted in almost 60,000 gram sabhas of UP without any thought of the catastrophic onslaught of the second wave," Priyanka Gandhi said in a series of tweets.
Meetings were conducted, campaigning continued and the spread of COVID-19 in UP's villages is now "unstoppable", she said.
"People are dying in numbers far, far above the deceitful official figures. People are dying in homes across rural UP, and these deaths are not being counted as COVID (deaths) because people aren't being tested," she claimed.
Priyanka Gandhi further alleged that the state government's actions are designed to cover up the truth and terrorise both the public and the medical community, which is working tirelessly to save lives.
"What is happening in UP is nothing less than a crime against humanity and the SEC, UP is playing along," she said.
Earlier this week, Priyanka Gandhi had demanded compensation of Rs 50 lakh for the families of government employees who allegedly died due to COVID-19 while performing their duty in the Uttar Pradesh panchayat polls.
Meanwhile, the BJP came down hard on Priyanka Gandhi, accusing her of unleashing a misinformation campaign against the UP government on panchayat polls.
UP minister Sidharth Nath Singh lashed out at the Congress and held Priyanka Gandhi responsible for spreading lies and the scare.
He further added that the government of Uttar Pradesh had maintained all the protocols relating to COVID-19 issued by the state poll panel but the Congress leader has been "spreading false information".
He slammed the Congress general secretary saying that she had been a "habitual liar" and a "habitual scare monger".
"Congress leader has become a habitual scare monger and spreading disinformation without checking SC's orders. This time on panchayat elections counting. Blaming UP govt is her favourite past time on tweeter," said Sidharth Nath Singh in a tweet.