'Political tourism': UP minister says politics over bodies won't help opposition
Uttar Pradesh minister Sidharth Nath Singh on Monday hit out at Opposition leaders trying to make their way to Lakhimpur Kheri where at least eight persons, four among them being farmers, were killed in clashes on Sunday.
While stating chief minister Yogi Adityanath had promised punishment for all the culprits, Singh said the Opposition was exploiting the tragedy to earn political points as it seemed there was a competition to visit the violence-hit district. Uttar Pradesh is set to see Assembly election next year.
“We are taking this matter seriously and it is under investigation. The CM has said that culprits will be punished. The Opposition is using the incident for political tourism and political competition as polls are around the corner,” Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Speaking about Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who had a heated exchange with police personnel before her arrest in Lakhimpur Kheri early on Monday, Singh said the former was indulging in political tourism.
“We've seen Priyanka Gandhi Vadra doing political tourism earlier. It is an attempt to hamper the probe and manipulate public opinion. This should not happen. They should at least wait for 24 hours or visit after there is a result of the probe,” Singh added.
He said that while there was no problem in expressing opinions, but trying to complete the election journey through the tragedies would not help the Opposition.
“There is no issue in presenting your opinion. But if they want to complete their journey till 2022 election over bodies, then it won't happen,” Singh added.
Earlier, the minister took to Twitter to term the political leaders’ visit to Lakhimpur Kheri was meant for “photo op”. "Political Tourism" and "Political Competition" of opposition parties will start with "Photo Ops" in an unfortunate incident at Lakhimpur. Law will prevail in UP," he said.
Barring farmer leader Rakesh Tikait, the administration has barred all politicians from going ahead with their visit to Lakhimpur Kheri.
While Samajwadi Party leaders Akhilesh Yadav and Ramgopal Yadav have been taken into custody in Lucknow, the UP administration has written to the airport authorities in the state capital to not allow Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Bhaghel and Punjab's deputy chief minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa to make a landing on their premises.
The duo are making efforts to go ahead with their visit by road.