Lakhimpur Kheri violence: Rahul Gandhi-led Congress delegation to meet President
A Congress delegation led by Rahul Gandhi will meet President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday over the violence in Tikunia village in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri district in which eight people were killed. According to the party, the delegation will submit a memorandum on the facts of the October 3 violence to the President.
The Congress had, on October 10, sought appointment with the President for a seven-member party delegation to meet him. The request was approved on Tuesday.
The seven members of the delegation are Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, AK Antony, Mallikarjun Kharge, KC Venugopal, Ghulam Nabi Azad, and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury besides Rahul Gandhi.
The Congress has been attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led Uttar Pradesh government over the violence, and also questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi's silence on the issue. Priyanka and Rahul, who visited the Tikunia village in Lakhimpur Kheri, where the violence took place, took a jibe at PM Modi who visited Lucknow for inaugurating development projects. The Congress leaders said the Prime Minister did not have time to visit Lakhimpur Kheri.
The BJP, meanwhile, said that a lot of politics is happening around the Lakhimpur Kheri incident. Naming Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said that they were trying to project themselves as "champions of Dalits". "Yet, the incident of a young Dalit man in Rajasthan (ruled by the Congress) beaten to death a few days ago has gone uninvestigated and unnoticed," Patra added.
Four farmers were among the eight killed in violence on October 3. Uttar Pradesh Police have so far arrested three people, including Ashish Mishra, the son of Union minister Ajay Mishra.
Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), a body of several farmer unions, had issued a statement regarding the incident claiming that the farmers died after being run over by the vehicles of Ashish Mishra's convoy.
Union minister Ajay Mishra has refuted these allegations, saying that his son was not present at the spot. However, the farmers and opposition parties, including Congress, have been demanding that he should be sacked from the Union Cabinet.