Caught me by the neck, says Priyanka after reaching ex-IPS officer’s residence despite police bid to stop her

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra riding pillion on a party activist’s two-wheeler on her way to former IPS officer-turned-activist SR Darapuri’s residence in Lucknow on Saturday.(ANI/Twitter)
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra riding pillion on a party activist’s two-wheeler on her way to former IPS officer-turned-activist SR Darapuri’s residence in Lucknow on Saturday.(ANI/Twitter)
Published on Dec 28, 2019 08:27 PM IST
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By, Lucknow

In spite of attempts by the police to stop her, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday reached the residence of former IPS officer-turned-activist SR Darapuri, who was arrested for protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Lucknow last week.

Accusing the BJP government of ‘suppressing the people’s voice’, she confirmed the police tried to stop her when she was going to meet family members of the former IPS officer.

High drama was witnessed near the 1090 crossing as the police tried to stop Priyanka who later said the police action to stop her could not be justified.

She objected to the manner in which the police stopped her there. Later, she walked several kilometres and then rode pillion on a party worker’s scooty to reach the IPS officer’s residence and met his family members.

“They caught me by neck. I have come riding on a scooty. I was not being allowed to come to the place of SR Darapuri who was speaking up for non-violent protests. His wife is ill and she was crying. I fell down. I was pushed by women police…But I continued,” said Priyanka, asking, “Why is all this happening?”

UPCC spokesman Ashok Singh said, “A Dy SP rank woman officer tried to stop Priyanka’s vehicle by parking a police vehicle. She was pushed by women police. She walked about eight kilometres and rode pillion on a party’s worker scooty to reach Darapuri’s residence.”

Circle officer, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow, Santosh Singh said Priyanka Gandhi’s convoy was stopped because it was not following the pre-scheduled route.

“When enquired, they refused to reveal where they were headed and so, as per protocol, their vehicle was stopped,” Singh said.

Earlier, addressing party workers after hoisting the Congress flag on the occasion of the party’s 135th foundation day celebrations, Priyanka said, “Using force to suppress voice of people and then retracting are two common traits of cowards. …they are suppressing the voice of people through violence and then retracting by saying there has been no discussion on the NRC and only the NPR is being discussed…those raising their voice against these laws are being beaten up across the country…”

Besides attacking the BJP governments at the Centre and in the state for bringing Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), she spoke against the rest of the opposition for not raising the people’s voice. “The opposition is not speaking much on the issue. I can’t say whether it’s for fear. The Congress should get ready to go all alone in the 2022 assembly elections,” she said.

She also said the Congress had stood for the people whenever the people’s voice was suppressed and party workers should take the path of non-violence while fighting for the people.

“We follow the ideology of truth and non-violence… We have been historically fighting those who are in power now…We are fighting the same forces with whom we fought during freedom struggle. These forces did not have any role in the freedom struggle… if we do not raise our voice against such forces, we will also be called cowards,” the Congress said Priyanka.

About the situation in UP, she said the government should look at the ground realities.

“Farmers are in distress. They are facing problem of stray animals. We have been raising the issue for long, even before Lok Sabha elections. But they have not done this. Go to villages and see how farmers are crying, they are not being given remunerative price for their produce,” she said.

She also referred to Unnao rape case and said how the woman had to go to Rae Bareli to get justice and she was burnt.

“Why did anybody representing the government not go to meet her family?... Crime against women is rising.. the condition of labourers and employees is not good,” she said.

She also said shiksha mitra and police mitras were shown the exit door and those ideologically inclined towards the government had been inducted in their place.

Priyanka said she had asked the district presidents and the state office bearers to respect seniors as their experience was equally important for the party. Her observations become significant in view action taken by the party against a group of senior leaders.

Expelled leaders organized a separate programme on Saturday to celebrate the Congress foundation day.


    Umesh Raghuvanshi is a journalist with over three decade experience. He covers politics, finance, environment and social issues. He has covered all assembly and parliament elections in Uttar Pradesh since 1984.

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