Why Congress is angry with Rakesh Tikait

Why Congress is angry with Rakesh Tikait

On Sunday, a rampaging mob of ‘protesting farmers’ attacked BJP leaders and workers, resulting in the death of 8 people. The mob was so irate that they even lynched one car driver to death and another BJP worker whose video went viral. In the video, Shyam Sunder, a BJP worker was seen pleading for his life. The ‘farmers’ were forcing him to confess that a BJP Minister had sent him to murder farmers but he refused to say so. The entire thing was captured on camera. Later he was found brutally murdered.

While politicians fomented trouble further, Rakesh Tikait, who was giving provocative statements trying to foment trouble, was suddenly seen with the Uttar Pradesh Police in a press conference where the police were announcing Rs 45 lac compensation for those killed in the violence, including the ‘farmers’ and the BJP leaders lynched by these farmers. During the press conference, the police had also said that peace will be maintained and the culprits brought to book.

While Lakhimpur Kheri could have burnt with ‘farmers’ going on a rampage and BJP indulging in retaliatory violence, UP police announced that it had made sure that politicians could not enter the area to create more trouble. With that, the situation was brought under control with Rakesh Tikait sitting through the press conference with the police.

Politicians and Congress-friendly media were not happy with the press conference. An indication of that unease with Rakesh Tikait being present at the press conference came with Vinod Kapri’s tweet. Vinod Kapri had earlier peddled fake news, trying to insinuate that it was Ashish Mishra, son of a BJP leader, who was driving the car that had ‘run over’ the farmers.

Vinod Kapri said that Rakesh Tikait should be questioned as to how he “reached a compromise” after the “massacre” even before the “killers” had been called.

Kapri is not the only person who now does not trust Rakesh Tikait. According to sources, several leaders from the Congress and also Khalistani elements are unhappy with Rakesh Tikait and are losing faith in him to keep the fire burning and the violence brewing ahead of the UP elections.

A source in the Congress party, who first refused to talk to OpIndia saying we are ‘anti-Congress but then spoke to us on the condition of anonymity said, “We have to ask why Priyanka Gandhi and others like Akhilesh Yadav were arrested while Rakesh Tikait was sitting with the UP police and doing a press conference”. “This was a massacre and Rakesh Tikait sold the interest of the farmers by sitting with the police in Uttar Pradesh. Has Rakesh Tikait become a BJP leader now?”, asked the Congress leader.

Another SP worker said, “We work on the ground with the UP elections coming up. These leaders come from outside and join hands with BJP the first chance they get. Our leaders need to be careful of such snakes”.

Several sympathisers and Congress-leaning propagandists saw Priyanka Gandhi’s detention in Lakhimpur Kheri as yet another starting point of her political rebirth and the revival of the Congress party in UP politics just like Indira Gandhi had resurrected a moribund Congress party after her visit to Belchi in Bihar 1977.

Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai, whose predilection for the Congress party is often apparent and unmistakable, posted a tweet wondering if Priyanka Gandhi’s visit to Lakhimpur Kheri is her “Belchi moment”. Several observers and media personalities wanted to paint this as Priyanka’s Belchi moment, giving her the political momentum that she needed.

Even Khalistani terrorist from Sikh For Justice Gurpatwant Singh Pannu released a video calling for more violence.

It is clear that Khalistani, Congress, SP and opposition friendly are now losing faith in Rakesh Tikait to keep the violence going and are now trying to resort to other measures – like Congress friendly journalists like Vinod Kapri peddling fake news about BJP leaders ‘murdering’ farmers to foment more violence.

The Lakhimpur Kheri violence that claimed that lives of 8 displayed the deep connivance between ‘farmer leaders’, politicians like Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav etc. While the truth was that the car was being attacked by the ‘farmers’ and lost control, running over 4 farmers, the narrative that went out in the world was extremely different, thanks to vested interests like opposition politicians and a pliant media. The media and these politicians insisted that the BJP leader’s car had deliberately run over the farmers and that the lynching of the BJP leaders after that was a direct result of the ‘brutality’ by the leader in the car.

The truth emerged only later when a new video showed how the car lost balance and had ended up running over farmers, following which, ‘farmers’ lynched BJP workers.

Lakhimpur Kheri – Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s Belchi moment: What it means when it comes from Congress-friendly elements

It was 1977, the public discontent against Indira Gandhi was on its peak, thanks to the simmering anger among the people over her misbegotten plan of imposing the Emergency in the country and curtailing individual rights. When about 14 Dalits were massacred in Bihar’s town of Belchi, Gandhi sensed it as a political opportunity to placate the resentful sentiments people harboured against her.

She immediately rushed to Belchi along with a cavalcade of 35 cars, rode an elephant and managed to attract popular grandstanding despite a recent election defeat and had the locals applaud her as the saviour of the oppressed class. The result was evident in the next elections when Indira regained power handsomely.

Indira, whose political career was about to hit the rock bottom, found the ladder made of these 14 Dalit lives and made a strong comeback. The Belchi visit was hailed by the media as the watershed moment that tipped the odds in favour of Indira Gandhi. Hailed and hyped by a pliant media and ecosystem, Belchi helped Indira and the Congress party to remain relevant in the national politics, and it even laid the foundation for her coming back to power in 1980. 

About four and a half decades later, the Congress party is again at the crossroads, with its popularity and acceptance at its nadir. The recent Punjab fiasco has also eroded whatever little trust people had in the leadership acumen of the current generation of Gandhi leaders. 

As questions are raised over Gandhis’ claim on Congress leadership, the partisan media journalists and sycophant members of the Congress party are desperately hopeful that Priyanka Gandhi’s visit to Lakhimpur Kheri would garner the same amount of sympathy and support as grandmother’s visit to Belchi did and once again reverse the downward spiral of the Congress party.

It is pertinent to note that even the Congress leader said that Lakhimpur Kheri was meant to be Priyanka Gandhi’s Belchi moment and with Rakesh Tikait dampening the narrative, the trust factor in the “farmer leader” seems to be dwindling.

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