Mallikarjun Kharge says attack on farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri was abetted by Central government

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Mallikarjun Kharge (extreme right), Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, addressing a media conference on October 3. Photo: ARUN KULKARNI


In a press conference at the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) headquarters in Bengaluru on October 6, Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, blamed the Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and the Union governments for the attack on farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3 that led to the death of four farmers. “The attack on farmers on Sunday is a sign of bedlam in the country. The State governments of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, with abetment from the union government, are responsible for this cruelty to farmers,” he said.

Kharge said: “Farmers have been protesting for more than 10 months for the repeal of the three black farming laws. In such a situation, the son of Ajay Kumar Mishra, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, mowed down and murdered four farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri. We have also seen in the past how the farmers have been threatened and warned to discontinue their agitation. After this incident, when Priyanka Gandhi, who is Congress general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh, wanted to meet the families of the farmers, she was arrested. It was a crime to arrest her in this manner. She was held in custody for more than 40 hours. Why hasn’t the son of Mishra been arrested? Mishra should be removed from the Union Cabinet.”

Kharge also demanded that the Supreme Court monitor the investigation into the events on Sunday. He also condemned the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and said that he has been opposing the RSS from the time he was 16 years old.

Other senior leaders of the Indian National Congress who were present at the press conference include D.K. Shivakumar, KPCC president; Ramalinga Reddy, Priyank Kharge and Eshwar Khandre. Members of the Legislative Assembly; and R. Dhruvanarayan, former Member of Parliament.