Priyanka meets SP women workers manhandled during block panchayat chief polls

Lucknow/Lakhimpur Kheri, Jul 17 : Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday visited Lakhimpur Kheri to meet the Samajwadi Party women workers who were allegedly misbehaved with during the block panchayat chief polls.

Ms Vadra, who is on a three-day visit to Lucknow, met SP block head Ritu Singh and her supporter Anita Yadav. Both faced misbehaviour during filing of nomination on July 8.

After meeting the women, the Congress leader said, “Whichever party we belong to, we are women and such a thing should never happen with any woman.’

Ms Vadra said there is no thing as democracy in the state.

She reached the Pasgwan block of Lakhimpur Kheri to take stock of the incident.

Questioning the silence of the administration over the issue, she said Ms Vadra said that the women’s saris were yanked, their clothes were torn but unfortunately no one came to their rescue. The administration remained silent.

She alleged that people with muscle power and money indulge in all sorts of criminal activities and still win elections. Democracy has been destroyed in the country. But unfortunately Prime Minister is praising the performance of the Yogi government in the Panchayat elections.

Ms Vadra said that the entire panchayat elections were marred by violence. There were incidents of explosions, and firing, while chaos reigned the entire polling process.

After meeting the aggrieved women for about 20 minutes, Ms Vadra also interacted with the media and said that she will stand up against this atrocity and demanded strict action against the guilty.

All Congress leaders and workers, including Congress General Secretary Dheeraj Gurjar, district president Prahlad Patel were present.

A heavy police force has been deployed at Ritu Singh’s house, while ASP Arun Kumar has also reached the spot.

Following the allegations of molestation and assault on Ritu Singh during the panchayat elections, the entire police station was suspended. A video of the incident went viral on social media inviting criticism for the administration from all quarters.

Meanwhile, on the other hand in Lucknow, Hazratganj police registered a FIR against Congress leaders for violating section 144 of the CrPC by holding a dharna led by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at the GPO on Friday.

Surprisingly, the FIR did not mention the name of Priyanka but has five named accused including state president Ajay Kumar Lallu and 500 unidentified persons.Secretariat police chowki in charge filed the FIR.

On Friday, Ms Vadra had slammed the UP government over the issue of women’s safety and sat on a silent protest against the UP Government at the Gandhi statue at GPO in the Hazratganj area. She alleged after the Yogi government’s defeat in panchayat polls, the party is indulging in violence and misusing the administration.

Speaking to the media last evening, Ms Gandhi said, “people are being kidnapped, many were not allowed to file nominations, women are being assaulted sexually, the administration is threatening people and the government is itself indulging in violence. People are seeing everything, the UP government has failed and that is why it has indulged in violence.”

“On the issue of women safety, the PM is applauding Yogi Ji, but we all have seen what is happening, nothing has been done in this regard, we have protested so many times for women’s safety. It seems as if Modi Ji is behind the UP government which is indulging in violence,” she added.

The Congress leader is on a three-day visit to Lucknow to meet the farmers’ delegation at the UPCC office last evening. She will also conduct closed-door meetings with UPCC officials, former MPs, MLAs and district level office bearers.

The visit is being seen as an attempt to finalise the strategy of Congress party ahead of 2022 state Assembly polls.

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