The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra has called for a state-wide bandh on Monday, October 11, as a mark of protest against the killings of farmers in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri, NCP President Jayant Patil announced on Wednesday. This decision came close on the heels of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s meeting with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi after the unfortunate incident.
Eight people, including four farmers, were killed on Sunday in the Tikunia area of the Lakhimpur Kheri district. The incident took place when the farmers were protesting against the visit of Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya. The four others who died include the driver of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Kumar Mishra, two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers, and Raman Kashyap, a journalist.
Raut said that a united opposition is the need of the hour. “I met Rahul Gandhi. I have also discussed the Lakhimpur incident with him. The unity of the opposition is very important for the country and to save democracy,” said Raut.
Earlier in the day, the Maharashtra cabinet passed a resolution condemning the death of farmers in Lakhimpur. A one-minute silence was observed by MLAs.
The Shiv Sena has also criticized the Modi government over the handling of the farmer crisis. Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana accused the BJP-led Centre of illegally detaining Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi. It also questioned why she was not allowed to meet farmers.
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and current Leader of Opposition (Maharashtra Assembly) Devendra Fadnavis, came out in support of the UP government. Emphasising that the (UP) government is capable of launching an investigation into the matter, Fadnavis said, “The UP government will investigate the Lakhimpur Kheri incident. The Maha Vikas Aghadi government should take a look at the plight of farmers in Maharashtra.”