As Rahul Gandhi reached Lucknow airport in the afternoon along with Punjab Chief Minister Charanjeet Singh Channi and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, both the CMs announced Rs 50 lakh compensation each for the families of the farmers and the journalist killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, reported PTI.
Punjab CM Channi said, “My state is an agriculture-dominated state and if farmers are going to be killed, we are not going to sit quiet. Congress will not sit quiet. We had a discussion with Rahul Gandhi here and have decided that the Punjab government will provide Rs 50 lakh to the families of the farmers and the journalist who died in the incident.”
CM Channi further said that the Congress is with farmers and would visit their houses for sure. Equating the Lakhimpur incident with the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, Channi said, “Yeh dictatorship nahi chalegi (this dictatorship can’t go on).”
Chhattisgarh CM Baghel too said that just like Punjab, Chhattisgarh is an agriculture-dominated state and is referred to as “Dhaan ka katora (rice bowl)”.
“Saare kisan akroshit hain. Aj Rahul ji ke sath humein anumati mili hai, hum milenge peedit pariwar se. Jaise ki Channi sahab ne kaha….Chhattisgarh bhi kisanon ka pradesh hai aur isliye Chhattisgarh sarkar ki or se pratek pariwar ko Rs 50 lakh rupey, sath hi patrakar ke pariwar ko bhi (Farmers are angry. We will visit the aggrieved family and pay compensation of Rs 50 lakh to the kin of farmers and the journalist killed),” Baghel said.
According to a report from the PTI, the two CMs along with Rahul Gandhi also sat on a dharna at the airport after the police asked them to proceed only in an official vehicle.
“Are you deciding how I would move? Just tell me the rule in this country that you would tell a citizen that you have to go through this route,” Rahul Gandhi told police officers, who cited a traffic jam and said it might create inconvenience.
“They want that we go with them in their vehicle. I am a citizen of this country, I have come to Uttar Pradesh. First they said I can go then now they are saying that you have to go in police vehicle,” Rahul Gandhi told media persons, adding, “I just want to go to Lakhimpur Kheri. They think that we are afraid of them but we are not.”
He said the issue was not that “Priyanka or I am kept at makeshift jails”, but that “six people have been run over by a criminal.”