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Opposition rallies over Sonbhadra violence, Priyanka’s detention

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 19, 2019 Published on July 19, 2019

Congress’ General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra sits in protest, after she was stopped from visiting the families of victims of a clash that claimed 10 lives, in Mirzapur, on Friday   -  -

The Opposition is trying to target the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the Sonbhadra violence that claimed the lives of 10 people, including tribals, and the brief detention of Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on her way to visit the kin of victims.

The Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had unsuccessfully tried to raise the issue in both the Houses of Parliament, but Priyanka’s arrest brought the issue to the centre-stage on Friday.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) too has decided to send a delegation to the village, even as the BSP said the policies of the BJP and the Congress resulted in such violence.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi termed his sister’s arrest “disturbing”. “This arbitrary application of power, to prevent her from meeting families of the 10 Adivasi farmers brutally gunned down for refusing to vacate their own land, reveals the BJP government’s increasing insecurity in UP,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

The party’s general secretary in-charge KC Venugopal said that instead of reaching out to the families of victims, the Yogi Adityanath government is trying to arrest Opposition leaders. He said the Congress will hold nation-wide protests demanding justice to the victims of violence and against the “illegal arrest” of Priyanka.

The Congress also released the videos of a sit-in organised by Priyanka before she was detained by the State police. She visited the injured in Varanasi and was stopped on the Varanasi-Mirzapur border and was taken to the Chunar guesthouse.

“A boy of my son’s age was shot at and is lying in hospital. On what legal basis have I been stopped here,” she asked. “I can move ahead only with four people. I want to meet the victims... I only want to meet the affected families, whose members have been mercilessly shot dead,” she said, and asked the police officers to show relevant papers before taking her into custody.

The Congress also alleged that the BJP repeatedly blames Jawaharlal Nehru for every problems. “Today, the BJP as well as their government at the Centre, or in States, start looking for ways to shift the blame first on Nehru and then on Congress for all their failures,” said Congress leader and MP Sanjay Singh.

He added, “I think they stand exposed. They cannot sort out the mess that they have created. If you cannot govern, then let someone else do it; but to blame it on governments of 50 years ago is preposterous and shows the bankruptcy of idea as far as the Aditynath government is concerned.”

Published on July 19, 2019
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