Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, who finally reached Lucknow airport on Tuesday to show solidarity with the four farmers killed in Sunday’s violence at Lakhimpur Kheri, was not allowed to leave the premised and sat on the floor in protest, questioning the rationale behind denial of permission.
In a video tweeted by Baghel, he can be seen asking the police officials why he was being stopped from leaving the airport when he had no intention of visiting Lakhimpur Kheri, which has become the hotbed of political slugfest after eight people died during a protest by farmers against the Centre’s agriculture laws.
Baghel had on Monday slammed the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government for not allowing him to land at the Lucknow airport, and asked whether civil rights have been abolished in the northern state.
The Uttar Pradesh government had requested the Lucknow airport authority not to allow the arrival of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Baghel and Punjab’s Deputy CM Sukhjinder S Randhawa, who had announced plans to visit Lakhimpur Kheri. Baghel, who has been made senior observer by the Congress for the UP Assembly elections due next year, claimed the Lakhimpur incident shows the BJP’s mentality that those who will raise voice against them will be crushed.
“On Sunday night, Priyanka Gandhi ji, who was heading for Lakhimpur, was detained in Sitapur. I was also scheduled to go there (on Monday morning) and my plane is ready, but the UP government has denied landing permission (at Lucknow airport),” the CM told reporters here.
“When Section 144 (of CrPC) is in force in Lakhimpur, then why landing at Lucknow is not being allowed” he asked. “Have the civil rights been abolished in Uttar Pradesh? Is a separate visa is required for going to UP? Why are people being stopped? It is very unfortunate as it is a question of civil rights. Can’t people go to express their condolences and to take stock of the incident. If they (BJP government) are stopping, then what is their mindset?” he further asked.
The way farmers were mowed down (in Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday), it shows their (UP BJP government’s) mentality that those who will raise voice against them will be crushed and trampled, he claimed. “This mentality is very dangerous and the whole country is agitated and everyone wants to go to Lakhimpur,” he said adding that the incident has “exposed the real face of the BJP”.
When reporters pointed out that UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has assured to take stern action into the incident, Baghel said, “He used to say this always after every incident. They were elected to power over the issue of law and order and now the entire country is watching how the law and order was violated there. There is nothing left in control of Yogi Adityanath, and his own people are doing such things.”