Rahul Gandhi demands minister be removed from post & PM apologise

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NEW DELHI: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday demanded that Union minister Ajay Mishra be removed from his post over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence and said it is time for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to apologise once again.

His remarks came after the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the violence, which claimed eight lives including that of four farmers, urged the chief judicial magistrate to replace lesser charges in the case like causing death by negligence with attempt to murder, saying that it was a “pre-planned conspiracy causing death”.

“Modi ji, it is time to apologise again… But first remove the accused’s father from the minister’s post. The truth is before you!,” Gandhi said on Twitter, using the hashtags “Lakhimpur” and “murder”.

He alleged that the minister tried to kill farmers and the prime minister knew as he was a member of his team.

“A minister has tried to kill farmers. The prime minister knows as he is in his team. We raised the issue but we were not allowed a discussion on it even then. We were all silenced at the time after we wanted to discuss the issue,” he told reporters when asked about the matter.

“Everyone knows the truth and it is that 2-3 big industrialists are against farmers and Narendra Modi is in the front,” he claimed.

Asked if the Congress would raise the issue in Parliament, the former Congress chief said, “We will certainly raise the issue in Parliament but they will not allow us to raise it.”

In response to another question, he said, “When they ran their jeep over farmers, which forces were behind them? Who gave them the liberty and which force kept them out of jail?”

The SIT urged the CJM to replace IPC sections 279 (rash driving/riding), 338 (causing grievous injuries by negligence) and 304A (causing death by a rash and negligent act) with IPC section 307 (attempt to murder) among others in the case related to the October 3 violence in Uttar Pradesh.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also demanded the sacking of Mishra and asked the prime minister to apologise.

“Dear Modi ji, now in Lakhimpur Kheri the conspiracy to kill farmers has come to the fore. Today you should apologise to the farmers from the stage in Uttar Pradesh and sack the minister of state for home. Otherwise it will be proved that the massacre of farmers took place at the behest of the Yogi-Modi government,” he claimed.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also demanded that there should be an inquiry into the role of the minister of state for home in the “conspiracy”

“Due to the court’s rebuke and because of ‘satyagraha’, now even the police is saying that the son of the minister of state for home had conspired and crushed farmers. But @narendramodi ji, due to anti-farmer mindset, you have not even removed him from his post,” she said. (PTI)