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Ban on Priyanka, Entry for Others: Why Congress Leader's Detention On Way to Sonbhadra Raises Eyebrows

On the day when the Congress general secretary was detained and kept at Chunar guest house in neighbouring Mirzapur district, delegations of other political parties were allowed to visit the Sonbhadra village and meet the victims.

Pranshu Mishra | CNN-News18

Updated:July 20, 2019, 11:58 AM IST
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Ban on Priyanka, Entry for Others: Why Congress Leader's Detention On Way to Sonbhadra Raises Eyebrows
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra being taken in an official vehicle after being detained at Narayanpur, in Mirzapur. (Image: PTI)

Lucknow: As UP's Adityanath government continues to stand by it's decision of not allowing Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi to visit the violence-infected Umbha village in Sonbhadra, the government's move has now come under question over preferential approach.

This because on the day when the Congress general secretary was detained and kept at Chunar guest house in neighbouring Mirzapur district, delegations of other political parties were in fact allowed to visit the village and meet the victims.

This despite section 144 being imposed in the district and the government raising questions over breach in law and order situation. What's more surprising was that delegation of even the left party was allowed to visit the massacre site. A CPM delegation, led by it's state secretary Heeralal and comprising a former MLA, not only was allowed to reach the village but also meet the victim and their family members.

Sonbhadra-Victims

A CPM delegation, led by it's state secretary Heeralal, met victims in hospital

Reports from ground zero in Sonbhadra suggest that even a Samajwadi Party-delegation led by local leaders was allowed to reach the village. Though, they were not allowed inside the area. It did hold a meeting outside the village.

Similarly a BSP delegation led by one of its former MPs was stopped only well within the boundaries on Sonbhadra district.

So question now is if BJP government allowed leaders of political party, their most vocal critics, then why a differential approach for Priyanka Gandhi.

The UP administration, however, claims that there are no different norms for Gandhi. Borders have been sealed and no one is being allowed there. However, inputs from the ground suggest that the government has indeed gone to extreme in Congress general secretary's case.

CPM state secretary Heeralal, who managed to reach Umbha village on Friday, though said that administration was "not allowing us to go the village", they took a "lesser guarded path" and finally reached the village. The entire area has been cordoned off and it seems the "government doesn't want the truth to come out".

CPM-Sonbhadra

CPI(ML) leaders met families of Sonbhadra firing victims on Friday

The fact that leaders of other opposition parties trying to reach Sonbhadra were not dealt by administration in the manner, Gandhi has been dealt is a very obvious manner.

Precisely, the sense about the government's measures and herself not being wrong, gave Gandhi this idea of digging in her heels and insisting to go to Sonbhadra.

Though government till this point in time continues to be in denial mode and is insisting on Gandhi filling a bond of Rs 50,000 for bail in violation of section 151 of IPC (knowingly joining an assembly despite asked to disperse). However, Gandhi has chosen not to do so.

Meanwhile, a late night meeting between the Congress leader and senior officials, comprising ADG police of Varanasi zone, and commissioners of Varanasi and Mirzapur region, failed to break the deadlock.

How is Yogi government going to deal with the crisis it has itself created, remains to be seen. On part of Congress, the party seems to have tasted blood following the humiliation in 2019 polls. That's the reason why the party has given a nationwide call for protest to it's party cadres against what they call illegal detention of their leader.

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