UP polls: Priyanka Gandhi mounts attack on BJP over Lakhimpur Kheri violence
UP polls: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also attacked Union home minister Amit Shah for his recent remark that law and order under the Yogi government has improved to an extent that now binoculars are needed to search criminals.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday reiterated a series of poll promises and lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttar Pradesh over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence that claimed eight lives on October 3. She also brought up the Kanpur realtor murder case in Gorakhpur in September and the alleged shortage of fertilizers in Lalitpur.
The Congress leader was addressing her party’s “pratigya rally” in Gorakhpur on the 37th anniversary of the assassination of her grandmother and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
“You may have seen (it) time and again. In Lucknow, Vivek Tiwari was shot dead by police. In Gorakhpur, Kanpur businessman Manish Gupta was brutally murdered by police. Neither criminals nor policemen are under control here in UP,” she said.
The reference was to Apple executive Vivek Tiwari who was allegedly shot by constable Prashant Chaudhary near Maqdoompur police outpost, under Gomti Nagar police station limits, in Lucknow on the intervening night of September 28-29 in 2018 when he was in an SUV with an ex-colleague. On September 27, 2021, Kanpur-based realtor Manish Gupta died after a police raid on a Gorakhpur hotel. Six policemen were booked for murder after the Gorakhpur incident.
Priyanka, who greeted the crowd in Bhojpuri, also said, “Things have happened against the ‘vaani’ (teachings) of Guru Gorakhnath.”
Guru Gorakhnath is worshipped at the Gorakhnath temple, of which Yogi Adityanath is the chief priest.
She alleged there was harassment of all sections of the society, including Dalits and backward classes under the BJP government.
Inflation has made survival difficult for people and farmers are debt-ridden, she said.
She also criticised the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) over charges that the Congress was in league with the BJP.
Priyanka questioned the “silence” of both the parties and their absence from the ground. The Congress alone was fighting for the poor and the oppressed, she said.
“I will die but I won’t ever tie up with the BJP,” she said.
She also attacked Union home minister Amit Shah for his recent remark that law and order under the Yogi government has improved to an extent that now binoculars are needed to search criminals. “When Shah was saying this who was standing by him on stage? It was (Union minister of state for home) Ajay Mishra whose son unleashed brutality on farmers in Lakhimapur Kheri. So, he doesn’t need binoculars but the right spectacles,” she said. Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra, the main accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, was arrested on October 9.
Reaching out to the Nishad community, Priyanka announced that a university would be set up in Gorakhpur named after Guru Machhendra Nath and fisheries will be given the status of agriculture if the Congress is voted to power.
She alleged that there had been irregularities in the appointment of teachers at DDU Gorakhpur University.
She reiterated the Congress would give 40% of party tickets to women in the UP assembly polls. The party has pledged to provide jobs to two million people, free smartphones to Class 12 pass girls and free scooties to graduate girls, besides promising to waive farmers’ loans.
“The entire loans of the farmers will be waived. Wheat and paddy will be purchased at ₹2,500 per quintal, while sugarcane will be purchased at ₹400 per quintal. The problem of stray cattle will be resolved on the lines of Chhattisgarh, and a complete solution will be evolved,” she said.
The anganwadi workers will get an honorarium of ₹10,000, and women will get three free cylinders in a year, she promised.
“Apart from this, if voted to power, our government will bear the cost of treatment of any illness up to ₹10 lakh,” she said.
She also said that ₹25,000 will be given to families who have lost their livelihood due to Covid-19.
“There is little point in responding to a political tourist. Nevertheless, to set the record straight, the son of the minister has already been arrested and this is one big proof of our party government’s intent to let law take its own course. But some unemployed politicians are trying their best to sully the image of the government but they won’t succeed. In about three months’ time the people would give them all the answers,” said Navin Srivastava, UP BJP media co-coordinator.