Varun Gandhi dropped from BJP body after criticizing Lakhimpur case
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Varun Gandhi was removed from the party's National Executive on Thursday. The decision came hours after Gandhi criticized the violent incident in UP's Lakhimpur Kheri, where a Union Minister's convoy mowed down a crowd of protesting farmers, triggering a clash. Gandhi had called for "accountability for the innocent blood of farmers," adding that "protesters cannot be silenced through murder."
Varun, Maneka removed from BJP body; BJP says 'routine' rejig
BJP National President JP Nadda announced the names on the 80-member BJP National Executive on Thursday. The names of Gandhi, and his mother, BJP MP Maneka Gandhi, were missing from the list. The National Executive includes BJP's top leaders who discuss key government issues and formulate the party's agenda. Sources told NDTV that such rejigs are a "routine exercise."
Gandhi had strongly criticized Lakhimpur Kheri incident
Gandhi had been severely critical of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, describing it as "murder," even as the BJP-led government has claimed that it was an "accident" triggered by the protesters' aggressive attacks. On Wednesday, he tweeted a higher-resolution video of the Lakhimpur incident that had gone viral, after a previous, slowed-down clip had shown pixelated footage of the farmers being crushed under an SUV.
'Video crystal clear; innocent blood of farmers spilled'
Tweeting the newer video on Thursday, Gandhi had written in the accompanying caption, "The video is crystal clear. Protestors cannot be silenced through murder." "There has to be accountability for the innocent blood of farmers that has been spilled and justice must be delivered before a message of arrogance and cruelty enters the minds of every farmer," Gandhi wrote.
You can view Gandhi's tweet here
Gandhi also called for time-bound CBI probe
In a letter to UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, dated October 4, Gandhi had expressed grief over the "martyrdom" of the protesting farmers. He had requested Adityanath to ensure a case of murder is filed against the accused and demanded a time-bound CBI probe.
Farmers seen walking peacefully; minister's vehicle runs them over
The video shared by Gandhi showed unarmed farmers walking peacefully as an SUV approaches them from behind. The vehicle speedily rams into the farmers, mowing down a crowd ahead, as two other cars follow. The video does not show the farmers attacking the vehicles with stones and sticks, as alleged by the accused Ashish Mishra, Union Minister of State (Home) Ajay Mishra's son.
Minister says son wasn't driving; claims farmers were attacking convoy
The Union Minister has confirmed that the vehicle belonged to his family. However, he had claimed that the driver "lost balance" after facing attacks by the protesting farmers. He had also said that his son was not present at the scene of the crime. A case has been registered against Ashish for murder, criminal conspiracy, rash driving, rioting, etc.