Highlights:

  • Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel sarcastically questioned if a visa was required to enter Uttar Pradesh
  • Yogi Adityanath government denied allowing his flight to land at Lucknow airport on their way to Lakhimpur Kheri
  • The leaders have decided to take the road route on their way to the poll-bound state

On Monday, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel sarcastically questioned if a visa was required to enter Uttar Pradesh after Yogi Adityanath government denied to allow his flight to land at Lucknow airport on their way to Lakhimpur Kheri, where nearly eight people, involving four farmers, were killed in violent clashes on Sunday.

In an exclusive interview with a publication, Bhagel who was appointed as a senior observer of All India Congress Committee (AICC) for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly election, uttered that the visit of Congress leader to the violence-hit district to express solidarity with the families of aggrieved farmers should not be seen through the prism of politics.

Reportedly, the UP administration directed the Lucknow airport authorities to not allow the flights of Baghel and Punjab deputy CM Sukhjinder S Randhawa to land on its premises. Consequently, the leaders have decided to take the road route on their way to the poll-bound state where the Congress is aiming to make a comeback, headed by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and the team.

When questioned about the BJP government’s claims that the opposition was indulging in tragic tourism, Bhagel responded, “The first thing is nobody can deny the incident happened. The BJP government has been exposed. Now, when political leaders are trying to go there, they are being stopped. This is wrong, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is being harassed without any warrant for going there.”

He continued, “Is there no right of citizens? Do we need a visa to go to UP? When something happens in other states, do the BJP leaders don’t pay a visit? When they do, it’s fine, when others do it’s politics?”

When inquired about the impact of Congress leaders taking a stand on issues such as farm laws and Hathras gangrape, but the same not having any impact electorally, he replied, “Why should everything be linked with elections? Wherever there is injustice, Congress is fighting there. We stand in solidarity with farmers and that’s why Congress leaders are heading to Lakhimpur Kheri.”

He further slammed the Haryana chief minister for asking the party workers to pick up sticks against protesting farmers, noting that it was on the same day that eight people were killed in their neighboring state.

He continued, “The three black farm laws passed by have been opposed by several states like Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Rajasthan, and West Bengal. Farmers have been protesting against the same for months now and their CM makes such a statement. The Killing of farmers was a horrible incident and we cannot criticize it enough. Rahul Gandhi was the first person to raise his voice against it.”

However, on the other hand, he denied commenting about the recent political developments in Punjab. He assured, “No question of Punjab situation replicating in Chhattisgarh. All issues are being looked into.”

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