Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and three others will be allowed to visit Lakhimpur Kheri – where eight people died Sunday in violence after a convoy of cars mowed down farmers holding a peaceful protest – the Uttar Pradesh Home Department said this afternoon.
UP police have so far blocked Mr Gandhi, Ms Gandhi Vadra and other opposition leaders from travelling to Lakhimpur Kheri to visit the families of the four farmers run over by vehicles, one of which was allegedly driven by Union Minister Ajay Mishra’s son, Ashish Mishra.
Ms Gandhi Vadra was arrested Monday – the Congress and she have claimed “illegal detention” by the state government – and Mr Gandhi was denied permission to visit Lakhimpur Kheri.
Earlier today, Rahul Gandhi, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and his Punjab counterpart Charanjit Channi, and senior leaders KC Venugopal and Sachin Pilot – were reportedly briefly stopped from boarding a Delhi-Lucknow flight.
Hours earlier Mr Gandhi had addressed a press conference in Delhi, condemning what he called “a systematic attack on farmers” and pointing out “there used to be democracy in India…”
“There used to be democracy (now) there is dictatorship in India. Politicians cannot go to Uttar Pradesh. We are being told since yesterday that we cannot go to Uttar Pradesh,” he had said.