Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who arrived in Bahraich to meet the families of two farmers killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, said by allowing Union minister Ajay Kumar Mishra to continue on the post, the Centre is giving the message that those in power can do anything.
The Union minister’s son, Ashish Kumar Mishra, and others have been booked in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri violence that erupted during a farmers’ protest on Sunday.
“If the minister of state for home does not resign nor is he sacked, then it means that the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is giving a message to the public that if someone is in power, if he is a minister, he can do anything,” Gandhi told reporters in Moharnia, where she met the family members of Gurvinder Singh, one of the four farmers killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
“The message that is coming out of it is that if someone is in power, is a minister or a BJP leader, he can do anything. There is no justice for the common people, the poor, farmers, Dalits and women. I want to tell Narendra Modi ji that this is the message that he is giving to people,” she said.
On her meetings with the bereaved families since Wednesday, when the Uttar Pradesh government released her from detention and allowed her to go to Lakhimpur and Bahraich, the Congress general secretary said, “We have met the families of all the deceased farmers. Everyone says they are not bothered about the compensation, they are only concerned about the dismissal of the minister of state for home and the arrest of the criminals.”
She also said the families of the victims have some video clips of Sunday’s incident that show what transpired that day.
“The family members have said that they want justice,” she stressed.
Gandhi’s convoy of vehicles was stopped by the district administration near the Ghaghra Ghat bridge as soon as it entered Bahraich from Barabanki as section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) was in force and the Congress workers accompanying her raised slogans against the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh in protest.
The magistrate and the police officers present on the spot subsequently allowed only Congress leaders Naseemuddin Siddiqui and Tanuj Punia, who had come with Gandhi, to proceed along with her to meet the families of the deceased farmers.
The Congress general secretary, who has met the family members of five of the eight people killed in Sunday’s violence, said she also wanted to meet the kin of the BJP workers who lost their lives.
“I had asked the IG to enquire if they (the BJP workers’ families) were ready for the same but was outrightly told that they do not want to meet me.
I asked for conveying my sympathy to them,” she added.
On her way to Bahraich, Gandhi also performed a “puja” at a temple in the Arjunganj area of Lucknow.