Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri has been identified as the new political tourist destination for the opposition parties to further their anti-BJP propaganda ahead of the 2022 state assembly elections. And with FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) kicking in, everyone decided to go to Lakhimpur Kheri in poll-bound state to ‘express solidarity’ and ‘condemn’ state administration, which they could have otherwise done via tweet as they normally do.
In an incident from Sunday, a Bhartiya Janta Party’s convoy was attacked by alleged farmers which led to a fatal clashes. As many as nine people have been reported dead in the violence including a journalist Raman Kashyap, three BJP workers along with a driver. The clash also led to the death of four protesting farmers.
From Congress to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to Trinamool Congress (TMC), the opposing political parties have announced innovative ways of sending delegations to meet only the ‘farmers’ affected by the violence.
Punjab CM seeks permission to visit Lakhimpur Kheri by chopper
Punjab Chief Minister and Congress leader Charanjit Singh Channi has expressed his willingness to visit the violence-affected area of Lakhimpur Kheri by chopper.
Expressing solidarity with bereaved families of farmers, I’m leaving for Lakhimpur Kheri to be with my brothers and sisters in this hour of grief. I’ve also sought permission from UP government to allow landing/taking off of chopper at the site.— Charanjit S Channi (@CHARANJITCHANNI) October 4, 2021
For the same, the Punjab government civil aviation director has sought permission from Uttar Pradesh’s additional chief secretary Awanish Awasthi for the landing of the chief minister’s helicopter.
Meanwhile, the UP government has written a letter to the Punjab chief secretary, urging not to let anyone from the state go to Lakhimpur Kheri.
Uttar Pradesh Govt writes to Punjab chief secretary, urging not to let anyone from the state go to Lakhimpur Kheri where Section 144 of CrPC was imposed following death of 8 people in violence on Sunday— ANI (@ANI) October 4, 2021
CM Baghel to alter his plans
Just like Punjab CM, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel had also sought permission to land in Uttar Pradesh. However, the additional chief secretary of the UP government in a letter to the director of Airport Authority of India (AAI) in Lucknow on Monday has asked the officials to not grant any permission to the leaders.
उत्तर प्रदेश में किसानों के साथ जो वहशी व्यवहार हुआ वह अक्षम्य है।— Bhupesh Baghel (@bhupeshbaghel) October 3, 2021
किसान हूं। किसान का दर्द समझता हूं।
इन कठिन परिस्थितियों में उनके साथ खड़े होने के लिए कल सुबह लखीमपुर जाउंगा।
Owing to this, CM Bhupesh Baghel may alter his plan and instead proceed to the national capital to enter the state of Uttar Pradesh.
While the CM has condemned the imposition of Section 144 of CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure) in the violence-affected area of UP, prohibitory orders have been imposed in Kawardha in Chhattisgarh”s Kabirdham district after people from two communities clashed over the removal of a religious flag on Sunday.
Interestingly, the political situation in Chhattisgarh is quite volatile and there have been rumours that the state government may collapse because of internal fighting between Congress leaders.
SAD holds emergency meeting
Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Singh Badal has also announced dispatching a delegation led by Prem S Chandumajra to meet the ‘bereaved farmer families.’
.@Akali_Dal_ delegation led by Prof Prem S Chandumajra is being dispatched to UP to meet the bereaved farmer families besides demanding swift action against the accused. SAD will also hold an emergency meeting of the core committee tomorrow to plan its next course of action. 2/2— Sukhbir Singh Badal (@officeofssbadal) October 4, 2021
The party has also demanded strict action against the accused and will hold an emergency meeting of the core committee on the same.
TMC evades detention to visit Lakhimpur Kheri
As tweeted by journalist Anindya Banerjee, Trinamool Congress is planning to send a delegation to Lakhimpur Kheri by road from the national capital to evade detention.
“TMC delegation doing a Priyanka Gandhi. To evade detention either by Lucknow or @lakhimpurpolice, the delegation flew in to Delhi this morning and taking a car till #Lakhimpur. They reached Delhi around 8.30 am today,” tweeted Anindya Banerjee.
TMC delegation doing a Priyanka Gandhi. To evade detention either by Lucknow or @lakhimpurpolice, the delegation flew in to Delhi this morning and taking a car till #Lakhimpur . They reached Delhi around 8.30 am today.— Anindya (@AninBanerjee) October 4, 2021
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressing her ‘anguish’ had Tweeted on Sunday saying, “I strongly condemn the barbaric incident in Lakhimpur Kheri. The apathy of @BJP4India towards our farmer brethren pains me deeply. A delegation of 5 @AITCofficial MPs will be visiting the families of the victims tomorrow. Our farmers will always have our unconditional support.
I strongly condemn the barbaric incident in Lakhimpur Kheri. The apathy of @BJP4India towards our farmer brethren pains me deeply.— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) October 3, 2021
A delegation of 5 @AITCofficial MPs will be visiting the families of the victims tomorrow. Our farmers will always have our unconditional support.
Reportedly, Dr Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Pratima Mondal, Dola Sen, Sushmita Dev and Abir Ranjan Biswas are the five leaders being sent to UP by the TMC.
AAP’s Raghav Chadha said to leave for UP
The Aam Aadmi Party has decided to send Punjab Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema, Raghav Chadha, Kultar Sandhwa and Baljinder Kaur to Lakhimpur Kheri today.
Aam Aadmi Party delegation led by AAP Leader @raghav_chadha along with Punjab Leader of Opposition @HarpalCheemaMLA, @Sandhwan & @BaljinderKaur_ to leave for #Lakhimpur Kheri today. pic.twitter.com/DUrFQ8oiGW— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) October 4, 2021
The same was informed by the Arvind Kejriwal-led party through a Tweet.
The UP police in the wee hours of Monday had stopped AAP MP Sanjay Singh in Sitapur when he was en route to Lakhimpur Kheri. As per reports, Singh refused to step back and continued to remain on the spot.
FLASH: @AamAadmiParty MP @SanjayAzadSln, seen asking police to allow him to visit the Lakhimpur Kheri — the site of violent clashes between farmers and supporters of a central minister— in Uttar Pradesh during early hours of Monday, report @rohanduaT02 & @Anand_Journ. pic.twitter.com/kxqxaFH8Jt— The New Indian (@TheNewIndian_in) October 4, 2021
Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad reaches Tikunia
Meanwhile, Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad has reached a makeshift stage at the protest site constructed at Tikunia, a nagar panchayat located near Lakhimpur Kheri.
“It is a sad moment for the farmers of this country. The death of farmers shows that the government has crossed all limits. I assure you that farmer’s struggle will triumph. I extend my full support to this fight to get justice for the families who have lost their family members here,” he said from the site.
Akhilesh Yadav arrested
On Monday (October 4), a contingent of police officials and Rapid Action Force (RAF) was deployed outside the residence of Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav. In a bid to avert a law and order situation, the police officials restrained Yadav from travelling to Lakhimpur Kheri.
He has now been detained after he sat on a dharna outside his Vikramaditya Marg residence.
Priyanka Gandhi sweeps room
After being stopped from visiting Lakhimpur Kheri, videos of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra sweeping the floor of a guesthouse in the Sitapur district has surfaced on social media.
Acting as an opportunist, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and JKNC (Jammu and Kashmir National Conference) leader Omar Abdullah compared Uttar Pradesh to J&K.
Uttar Pradesh is the “naya J&K”.— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) October 4, 2021
“Uttar Pradesh is the naya J&K,” he said in a tweet.