Stating that the unlawful detention of opposition leaders is against democratic values, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot today condemned the move to stop Congress’ Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and others from going to meet the families of farmers killed in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister SS Randhawa were among those prevented from going to the state by the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government, Mr Gehlot said, a day after violence during a farmers’ protest in Lakhimpur Kheri claimed eight lives, including four farmers.
“Only a dictator government can do this. Does the ruling BJP in UP want to end democracy? In this way, the violation of civil rights is also against the spirit of the Constitution,” he said.
“I strongly condemn the detention of AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi ji and other leaders by the Uttar Pradesh Police. She is a prominent opposition leader and was on her way to meet the families of farmers who were killed yesterday in Lakhimpur Kheri district… The unlawful detention of opposition leaders is against democratic values,” Mr Gehlot said in a tweet.
Priyanka Gandhi’s convoy was briefly stopped by Uttar Pradesh Police in Lucknow where she reached there on Sunday night, a few hours after violence during the anti-farm laws protest.
“Priyanka ji was going to stand with the families who lost their loved ones in yesterday’s violence. It is totally unfair to stop them (from) discharging (their) duty,” Mr Gehlot said.
A first information report has been registered against Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra and several other persons in connection with the violence. Farmer leaders claimed that Ashish Mishra was in one of the cars that allegedly knocked down some protesters opposing Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s visit.
The eight people killed included four farmers and four people in the convoy of BJP workers who had come to welcome the UP minister. They were allegedly beaten to death.
The Rajasthan Chief Minister said farmers protesting peacefully were killed by the BJP leader’s convoy and then opposition leaders were stopped from meeting the families of the victims. This, he said, is absolutely wrong.
Mr Gehlot added that the BJP government’s inhuman face has come to the fore. “It is undemocratic to ignore the demands of the farmers, stalling the farmers’ movement, oppressing them and then not allowing any opposition party to stand with them,” he said.