Systematic attack on farmers, says Rahul Gandhi; adds will visit Lakhimpur Kheri
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacked the central government over violence in Lakhimpur Kheri, claiming that systematic attack is happening on the farmers. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Gandhi said he will try to visit Lakhimpur Kheri along with two chief ministers to meet the families of those farmers who were killed on Sunday.
The Uttar Pradesh government has already denied permission to Congress delegation for the visit citing imposition of prohibitory orders under Section 144. Police barricades have been erected on the road to Lakhimpur Kheri since Tuesday night to prevent political leaders from entering the district.
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"The rights of the farmers are being systematically robbed. And this is why they are protesting. It started from land acquisition bill, then the farm laws were passed and now this," said Gandhi.
He slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who visited Lucknow for launching various projects on Tuesday, saying he did not visit Lakhimpur Kheri.
"Our work as an opposition party is to build pressure to force government to act. If we didn't do this, nothing would have happened in Hathras too," said the Congress leader. He also criticised the Uttar Pradesh government for stopping Chhattisgarh chief minister and Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel at Lucknow airport, saying Section 144 deals with gathering of four or more people, but Baghel was alone.
Gandhi is expected to land at Lucknow airport at 12.30pm, from where he will try to head to Lakhimpur Kheri.
Among them was Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, who claimed on Tuesday that he was going to meet Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in Sitapur where she was detained but was not being allowed to leave the Lucknow airport.
The Uttar Pradesh Police has registered an FIR against Priyanka Gandhi and 11 others for "disturbing the peace" in the state. The Congress general secretary, meanwhile, claimed she has been put under detention without any order or FIR.