Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Monday wondered if crushing farmers and stifling the voice of opposition leaders who stand in their support was the BJP's new strategy, a day after eight people were killed in violence that erupted during a farmers' protest at Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh.
Talking to reporters, Raut said when a rape incident took place at Saki Naka in Mumbai (last month), the BJP raised a hue and cry, and "we (state government) did not stop anyone from going to the crime site".
"Farmers have been run over allegedly by the car of a minister's son (in Lakhimpur Kheri). Where does such cruelty come from?" asked the Rajya Sabha member, whose party shares power with the NCP and Congress in Maharashtra.
He said Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and other leaders were stopped (by the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh) from going to Lakhimpur Kheri to show solidarity with the farmers protesting over their demand for a repeal of the Centre's three agri-marketing laws.
"Does the BJP have a new strategy of crushing farmers and stifling the voices of opposition leaders who show solidarity with them?" Raut asked.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks about farmers' interests, while state governments headed by the BJP "kill farmers" with cars being run over them, Sena's chief spokesperson claimed.
Raut likened the Lakhimpur Kheri incident to the case of revolutionary Babu Genu, who was run over by a Britisher's truck while protesting in Mumbai during the independence struggle.
Speaking on former Sena MLA Subhash Sabne crossing over to the BJP to fight the upcoming Deglur Assembly bypoll in Maharashtra, Raut wondered if former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis was touring the state's Marathwada region to take stock of farm distress due to recent heavy rains there or to induct a Sena leader into the BJP.
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