Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (Photo: STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)
POSSIBILITIES of an opposition tie-up between the Indian National Congress and Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh in next year’s state elections in Uttar Pradesh received a blow on Monday (4) when senior Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra slammed the leaders of the two regional parties saying they did not care to raise issues concerning citizens of UP.
Vadra, who was detained on Monday (4) while she tried to reach the spot of the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri in the state to meet the families of the victims, said be it the death of the gangrape victim in Hathras last year or the death of the farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri, it was only the Congress which raised voice against the government on every occasion.
“Where is Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati? For the last two years, whether it was the Hathras incident or (recent incident in) Lakhimpur Kheri, it’s only Congress which raised issues in Uttar Pradesh,” Vadra said.
SP president and former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav was also detained on Monday as he sat on a dharna outside his residence in state capital Lucknow after he was barred from going to Lakhimpur. The scenario there also turned tense as a police vehicle parked in front of the police station near where Yadav sat on a dharna was set on fire allegedly by his party workers.
The BSP also found resistance from the administration in reaching the place where the violence took place. Senior party leader and parliamentarian Satish Chandra Mishra was forced to stay at home after he tried to leave for Lakhimpur to meet the victims’ families. The BSP also announced on Monday night that a team of experienced lawyers was being set up to fight the case on behalf of the farmers on a pro bono basis and ensure that the guilty could not get away easily. The BSP also compared the Lakhimpur Kheri violence with the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Punjab in 1919 when the British opened fire on unarmed people, killing several.