The names of Varun Gandhi and his mother Maneka Gandhi were dropped from the fresh list of the 80-member BJP national executive posted today amid a flurry of tweets by the BJP MP, condemning the events of UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri. The party brushed off the omission – sources said such rejigs are a “routine exercise”.
Varun Gandhi was the only BJP leader to take flag the issue, in which the son of a BJP Union minister has been accused of murder. Ashish Mishra, the son of BJP’s junior home minister Ajay Mishra, has not been questioned or arrested.
On Tuesday, Varun Gandhi had tweeted a rather grainy video of a black SUV ploughing through a group of peaceful protesters from behind. Four farmers had died, another four lives were lost in the subsequent violence and arson.
Calling it “murder”, Varun Gandhi said the video was enough to “shake the soul”.
Yesterday, tweeting what he called a “crystal clear” version of the same video, Mr Gandhi called for “accountability for the innocent blood of farmers”.
“Protestors cannot be silenced through murder. There has to be accountability for the innocent blood of farmers that has been spilled and justice must be delivered before a message of arrogance and cruelty enters the minds of every farmer,” he posted on Twitter.
He has also written to UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to ask for a CBI probe and Rs 1 crore compensation for the families of the dead farmers.
The new video – which NDTV has not been able to verify – shows no stones or sticks being thrown by farmers, as claimed by the minister. The car is seen being driven — seemingly deliberately — into protesters who had their backs to the vehicle.
Both Ajay Mishra and his son have denied that they were present at the spot, though the minister told NDTV that the SUV belonged to his family.
Amid opposition demands that he step down, Mr Mishra met his boss, Union Home Minister Amit Shah yesterday. The government sources have ruled out any resignation.