BJP parliamentarian Varun Gandhi (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP via Getty Images)
HOURS after he condemned on Thursday (7) the incident of a car allegedly mowing down protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri district of the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh last Sunday (3), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parliamentarian Varun Gandhi found his name dropped from the party’s new national executive committee.
Even his mother Maneka Gandhi, also a BJP parliamentarian and a former minister in the Narendra Modi government, found herself excluded from the list of names which was announced by the party’s national president JP Nadda.
The saffron party on Thursday set up a new national executive committee comprising 80 members. Apart from Varun, former central minister Chaudhary Birender Singh was also not included since he, like the former, has also been critical of the controversial farm laws against which the farmers are protesting in various states in northern India.
Another senior leader Subramanian Swamy, who was once a supporter of Modi but turned a critic of the prime minister, was also removed.
The list has, apart from Modi, home minister Amit Shah and defence minister Rajnath Singh, party veterans like Lal Krishna Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.
Besides 80 regular members, the executive will also feature 50 special invitees and 179 permanent invitees. Thirty-seven of the 80 members are central ministers.
Varun, who is the grandson of late Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi and joined the BJP in 2004. Both he and his mother are currently serving their third term in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian parliament, since 2009. Varun represents the Pilibhit constituency while Maneka represents Sultanpur, both in UP.
Varun had condemned the Lakhimpur incident that sparked violence and resulted in death of eight people overall. He called for “accountability for the innocent blood of farmers” as he posted a purported video of the incident.
The video is crystal clear. Protestors cannot be silenced through murder. There has to be accountability for the innocent blood of farmers that has been spilled and justice must be delivered before a message of arrogance and cruelty enters the minds of every farmer. 🙏🏻🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/Z6NLCfuujK
“The video is crystal clear. Protestors cannot be silenced through murder. There has to be accountability for the innocent blood of farmers that has been spilled and justice must be delivered before a message of arrogance and cruelty enters the minds of every farmer,” Gandhi tweeted on Thursday.
On Tuesday (5), Varun had said in another tweet that such a video “will shake anyone’s soul”.
लखीमपुर खीरी में किसानों को गाड़ियों से जानबूझकर कुचलने का यह वीडियो किसी की भी आत्मा को झखझोर देगा।
पुलिस इस वीडियो का संज्ञान लेकर इन गाड़ियों के मालिकों, इनमें बैठे लोगों, और इस प्रकरण में संलिप्त अन्य व्यक्तियों को चिन्हित कर तत्काल गिरफ्तार करे।