Congress says Rahul to lead party delegation to Lakhimpur on Wednesday, seeks UP govt approval


NEW DELHI/LUCKNOW: The Congress Tuesday said its former president Rahul Gandhi will lead a five-member party delegation to Lakhimpur Kheri on Wednesday, and asked Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to allow the visit.

Party sources in Delhi said Rahul Gandhi is keen to visit there on Wednesday, days after his sister and AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was detained by the Uttar Pradesh Police while on her way to Lakhimpur Kheri, where eight people died and several injured Sunday in the bloodiest clash since the farmers’ protest over the Centre’s agri laws began last year.

All India Congress Committee General Secretary KC Venugopal said in his letter to Adityanath that a five-member delegation led by Rahul Gandhi proposes to visit Lakhimpur Kheri on October 6 to express condolences to the bereaved families and to ascertain the facts first hand.

The Congress has told the chief minister that the UP government has allowed leaders of other political parties from Uttar Pradesh as well as West Bengal to visit Lakhimpur Kheri, but not their party leaders.

The Congress delegation may be allowed to visit Lakhimpur Kheri in the same spirit, he said.

Party sources in Lucknow said all necessary preparations for Rahul Gandhi’s arrival are being made.

The party also raised the issue of party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s detention while she was on her way to Lakhimpur Kheri, and said she has been held illegally without any reason.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been detained since early Monday.

She has alleged she has been “illegally detained” and not allowed to even meet her lawyers.