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Opposition, SKM put pressure on BJP to drop Mishra from Union Cabinet

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 07, 2021

Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav meets the families of the victims of Lakhimpur Kheri violence, on Thursday   -  PTI

Say probe panel appointed by State govt doesn’t instil confidence; seek arrest of Mishra’s son

Opposition parties continued to march towards Lakhimpur Kheri, demanding justice for four farmers and a journalist killed there last week. Pressure is mounting on the BJP to sack the Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra from the council of ministers as the Uttar Pradesh Police has summoned his absconding son Ashish Mishra, a key accused in the case, against whom an FIR has been registered.

The four were killed when an SUV, allegedly belonging to BJP supporters ploughed through a crowd of farmers protesting against the Centre’s farm reform laws.

The Uttar Pradesh government, meanwhile, has appointed a retired judge of Allahabad High Court Pradeep Kumar Srivastava as a single-member Commission of inquiry. The commission’s headquarters will be at Lakhimpur Kheri and it will have to submit the report in two months. The Opposition, however, demanded that the Commission should be headed by a sitting judge.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) said in a statement that it is still waiting for action from UP government, Centre and the President on Ashish Mishra’s arrest, sacking of MoS Ajay Mishra and removal of Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar. The one-member judicial commission does not instil confidence, it claimed in the statement.

Pressure mounts

The Opposition, meanwhile, sharpened its attack on the BJP. The ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi in Maharashtra announced a statewide bandh on Monday. Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who was allowed to visit the families of the victims on Thursday said“People from all political parties are here so that the families get justice. The son of a minister will not be arrested as there is a BJP Government both in UP and at the Centre,” he charged.

Yadav’s predecessor and BSP supremo Mayawati said the Supreme Court’s intervention in the issue is a welcome step. “The hearing started by the Supreme Court in the Lakhimpur incident gave hope to the people for relief and proper justice, as the attitude of the BJP government in this matter appeared mostly biased,” Mayawati said in Twitter.

‘Sitting judge probe needed’

AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is camping in Uttar Pradesh. Separate delegations of the Congress from Uttarakhand, Punjab and Rajasthan are also scheduled to reach the village. “In my view and that of the victims’ families as well, the case should be probed by a sitting Supreme Court or high court judge, and not a retired judge. I don’t want to comment on the probe as it has not started yet. But I can say that for an unbiased probe, the minister should resign as he has the Home portfolio and all this comes under him,” Priyanka Gandhi said.

Meanwhile, the BJP dropped senior leaders Maneka Gandhi, her son and MP Varun Gandhi, Minister Rao Inderjit Singh and former Minister Birender Singh from party’s national executive, which was reconstituted on Thursday.

Published on October 07, 2021

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