Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) governments at the Centre and Uttar Pradesh over 'attacks' on farmers. Referring to the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, Rahul said that farmers are being 'attacked' in the country by the government for some time.
Rahul said that he will try to visit Lakhimpur Kheri to meet the families of the victims. Notably, the Uttar Pradesh government has not given permission for Rahul Gandhi's visit to Lakhimpur Kheri and has asked him not to come. "The UP government has not yet given permission for Rahul Gandhi's visit to Lakhimpur and has asked him not to come," Lucknow Police Commissioner DK Thakur told PTI. "DMs of districts concerned have given us in writing that prohibitory orders are in place there and his visit could create problems. Therefore, he will not be allowed," Thakur said.
Rahul said that farmers are being mowed down by the BJP. "The name of the Union Minister, his son is coming up but no action is being taken," he said.
"Yesterday, the Prime Minister visited Lucknow but he didn't visit Lakhimpur Kheri. It's a systematic attack on farmers," the Congress leader said.
"Today, with two CMs we will visit Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh to understand the situation there and support the farmers' families. Yes, Priyanka has been put under detention (in Sitapur) but this is a matter relating to the farmers," he said.
Rahul said that Section 144 only stops 5 people and "we three (Rahul, Bhupesh Baghel and Charanjit Singh Channi) are going".
"There used to be democracy, there is dictatorship in India now. Politicians cannot go to Uttar Pradesh. We are being told since yesterday that we cannot go to Uttar Pradesh," Gandhi said. "We have written them a letter... Opposition's job is to create pressure so that action is taken," he added.
The administration has imposed Section 144 in Lakhimpur Kheri. Four of the eight dead in Sunday's violence in Lakhimpur Kheri were farmers, allegedly knocked down by vehicles driven by BJP workers travelling to welcome Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya to an event in the area. The others including BJP workers and their driver were pulled out of the vehicles and lynched by the protesters. The Uttar Pradesh Police has lodged a case against Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra's son Ashish but no arrest has been made so far.