Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was detained by Uttar Pradesh police on Monday, while on her way to meet the kin of four farmers who died in Lakhimpur Kheri.
“Today’s incident shows that this government is using politics to mow down farmers. This is the farmers’ country, not BJP’s… I’m not committing any crime by deciding to meet the victims’ kin…Why are you stopping us? You should have a warrant,” the Congress leader said.
Gandhi, who was accompanied by party leader Deepender Singh Hooda among others, had to take alternative routes to reach the bordering Hargaon area in Saitapur as heavy security was deployed on the main roads amid tension in the violence-hit region of Lakhimpur.
After her detention, her brother and former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said “they fear your courage”.
प्रियंका, मैं जानता हूँ तुम पीछे नहीं हटोगी- तुम्हारी हिम्मत से वे डर गए हैं।
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 4, 2021
“Priyanka, I know you will not back down. They are afraid of your courage. In this non-violent fight for justice, we will make the country’s farmers win,” Rahul in a tweet.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa were stopped from reaching Lucknow, with police citing section 144 being in place in Lakhimpur Kheri.
Baghel said that if section 144 was put in place in Lakhimpur Kheri then why were they being stopped from entering Lucknow. He also alleged that Priyanka Gandhi was manhandled last night.
“Ghatna se tuarit hokar Priyanka Ji sare karikaram sthagit kar Lakhimpur ja rahi hti.. Jis prakar se unke sath manhandling ki gayi, woh behat durbgya janak hai, ninda karta hun,” (Soon after the incident, Priyanka ji cancelled all her programs to go to Lakhimupur Khiri.. The way she was stopped at Sitapur, she was manhandled is unfortunate and condemnable,” said Baghel in a video statement.
Meanwhile, the Congress is contemplating taking legal action. Congress leaders said that former Union Minister Salman Khursheed was trying to reach Gandhi to provide legal help but claimed he was put under house arrest in Lucknow.