New Delhi: Congress’s Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have left for Lakhimpur Kheri from Sitapur to meet the families of farmers who died on Sunday. A delegation of the Aam Aadmi Party has already reached the area.
AAP leaders Harpal Cheema, Raghav Chadha and others met the relatives of the Nachhatar Singh, who was one of the farmers allegedly mowed down by a vehicle driven by Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has spoken to the family on phone.
Rahul Gandhi had a face-off with the UP police today when he landed in Lucknow airport over transport arrangements. Mr Gandhi, who was accompanied by the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Chhattisgarh, refused to take the route or transport suggested by the police, saying, “Who are you to arrange my transport? I want to leave in my car,” .
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, lodged at a guest house in Sitapur since her arrest on Monday, joined the Congress team, which was cleared for a visit to meet the families of farmers.
Earlier today, junior home minister Ajay Mishra met his boss, Amit Shah, amid opposition demands for his dismissal over allegations that his son ran over the peacefully protesting farmers on Sunday.
Top government sources have ruled out the possibility of his resignation, saying he has clarified twice that he and his son were not present. “Yes his car was there and let a full investigation take place,”a source said.
All parties are permitted to visit Lakhimpur; but only five people will be allowed, UP’s Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Awanish Kumar Awasthi was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.
Opposition parties have been clamouring to go to Lakhimpur since Sunday, but the state police did not allow anyone, citing law and order situation.
CRPF personnel have now been deployed at the arrival gate of the Lucknow airport in anticipation of the visits.
Three of the farmers who died on Sunday were cremated yesterday. The fourth farmer, Gurvinder Sngh, who was allegedly shot by the minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Misra, was cremated today after a second postmortem.
Four people died on Sunday after a vehicle mowed down farmers who were protesting against the visit of the Union minister and the state’s Deputy Chief Minister Kehsav Maurya. Another four were killed in the violence and arson that followed. Though Ajay Mishra has admitted the SUV belonged to him, he said he and his son were not present at the spot.