Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said he will visit Lucknow and Lakhimpur Kheri along with Chief Ministers of Punjab and Chhattisgarh despite being denied permission by the administration.
A delegation of the Congress Party led by Rahul Gandhi is likely to visit Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri on Wednesday to meet families of victims killed in a violent incident on Sunday, sources said.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday here, Rahul Gandhi said, “Section 144 is not imposed for three people and only three persons will go to meet the bereaved families.”
He said Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi will accompany him to Lucknow and then they will proceed to Lakhimpur Kheri.
The District Magistrate of Lakhimpur Kheri has imposed section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which prohibits assembly of five or more people at a time, following the Sunday incident.
Rahul said, “When other political parties are being allowed to go to Lakhimpur Kheri, why the Congress delegation will not be allowed.”
On questions about Priyanka’s detention, he said, “We are trained to raise peoples’ issues and we are not going to deter even on being manhandled.”
The Congress leader alleged that the farmers were being attacked by the government.
The Uttar Pradesh government, late on Tuesday night, denied permission to a Congress delegation led by Rahul Gandhi to visit Lakhimpur Kheri as Section 144 was enforced thereafter Sunday’s violence.
Earlier, Congress General Secretary K.C. Venugopal had sought permission for the Rahul-led delegation.
In a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the Congress said a five-member delegation led by Rahul Gandhi planned to visit the district.
Party sources said that Rahul would also meet sister Priyanka, who has been kept at the PAC guest house in Sitapur since Monday.
She was formally arrested on Tuesday evening and the guest house has been notified as a temporary jail.
Uttar Pradesh Police on Tuesday registered an FIR against Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Varda and 11 others for “disturbing the peace” in the state.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had claimed that she has been detained for the last 40 hours without any order or FIR.
Lakhimpur Kheri, political leaders made a beeline to visit the site and expressed their desire to meet the families of the victims.
Earlier, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, who was scheduled to go to Lakhimpur Kheri, on Tuesday claimed that he was not being allowed to leave the Lucknow airport.
(With IANS inputs)