New Delhi: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra met Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad at a Meerut hospital on Wednesday, a day after he was taken into custody by the police for alleged violation of the model code of conduct.
Gandhi said she came to meet the Bhim Army chief because she understands his struggle. Azad was taken into custody by police on Tuesday for violating the model code of conduct, officials said. He was detained while leading a procession that included cars and motorcycles, but was shifted to the hospital when he took ill. The code violation was allegedly over the number of vehicles in the political rally.
After the meeting, the Congress general secretary for east UP said that this government has become so arrogant that it want to crush a young man.
“It does not want to listen to the youth. It could not provide jobs, and when the youth decided to raise their voice, it decided to crush them,” she told reporters.
She also refuted suggestions that the visit was to induct Azad into the Congress, and said the visit had nothing to do with politics. We like his enthusiasm, the fact that he is ready to struggle and is raises his voice on important issues.
According to sources, Priyanka’s meeting with Azad is an attempt to woo Dalits in Uttar Pradesh and pit him against Mayawati’s BSP, which did not include the Congress in the mahagathbandhan in the state.
The Bhim chief had flagged off the “Hunkar rally” in Meerut on Sunday, which was supposed to culminate at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on March 15. He has vowed to go ahead with the procession despite the government action.
Azad, meanwhile, has announced that to make sure that PM Narendra Modi loses from Varanasi, he will himself contest against him if the SP-BSP alliance fails to field a strong candidate.
Speaking to News18 while undergoing treatment at the hospital in Meerut, Azad said, “Our padyatra was stopped by the police at the behest of UP government. We had proper permission but administration cancelled it and didn’t inform us. We are going to organise a big rally at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on March 15.”
“Mulayam Singh Yadav is giving confusing statements in the parliament, also SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav should clear his stand on the issue of reservation in promotion. The Samajwadi Party has got Varanasi seat in its quota and if it fails to field a strong candidate, then we will ensure a strong candidate against PM Modi. If required I will myself contest against him,” said Azad.
Last week, Azad said that his outfit would field its own strong candidates against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union minister Smriti Irani from Varanasi and Amethi constituencies if the SP and BSP alliance failed to do so.