On the first anniversary of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, the Congress on Monday targeted the Narendra Modi government over the continuation of Ajay Mishra ‘Teni’ as a Union Minister as his son Ashish Mishra is allegedly involved in mowing down of farmers, who were protesting against the three farm laws.
Jairam Ramesh, Congress general secretary for communication, while launching an app of Bharat Jodo Yatra, also claimed that the BJP is nervous by the wave of support for thee 3570-km-long padayatra.
“Nothing can be more insulting that the farmers agitating against the black laws were deliberately killed while the culprit remains a member of the Union Council of Ministers,” Mr. Ramesh told reporters at a press conference, adding that “there was clear evidence that the Minister’s son was involved in the killing”.
Mr. Ashish was arrested in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case after his SUV car ploughed into the protesting farmers in the district in which four farmers and four others, including two BJP workers, were killed.
Former party chief Rahul Gandhi and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra both took to Twitter to target the Modi government over the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.
“One year has passed but the farmer martyrs of Lakhimpur Kheri didn’t get justice. Reason is the same: everytime the BJP protects the culprits. When we started the Bharat Jodo Yatra, the farmers’ agitation was a big inspiration. Our struggle wont end without ensuring justice for annadatas,”tweeted Mr Mandhi.
Mr. Ramesh said farmers’ issues were being taken up at the Bharat Jodo Yatra on Monday and extended support to the farmers’ organisation, Samyukta Kisan Morcha, in pursuing their demands.
Responding to a question from a BJP Rajya Sabha member, Lahar Singh Siroya, on whether Naxals/Maoists are part of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, Mr Ramesh said such claims are completely ‘bogus’.
“The BJP is nervous with the lehar (wave) of support that the Bharat Jodo Yatra is receiving. Every effort will be made to derail the yatra but the Congress will continue with its efforts,”the Congress communication chief said.
Mr. Ramesh claimed that popular support to the yatra has rattled the BJP and slammed the Enforcement Directorate’s summons to Karnataka Congress president D. K. Shivakumar in the National Herald case as continuation of the government’s “vendetta politics”.
Lauding Mr. Gandhi’s speech in Mysuru, Mr. Ramesh said that of Mr. Gandhi addressing a gathering on Sunday evening amid a heavy downpour was a ‘defining moment’ during the padyatra.
The Congress leader also informed the mediapersons that party chief Sonia Gandhi will be joining the yatra on October 6 for a brief while as the yatra is on a two-day break on Tuesday and Wednesday for Dasara.