Priyanka Gandhi invokes Goddess Durga, urges people to chant 'Jai Mata Di' at Varanasi rally

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: As the ruling BJP disassociated itself from Ashish Mishra ‘Monu’ in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi observed a maun vrat (silent protest) on Monday to step up the pressure on the Central government to sack Ashish’s father and junior Home Minister Ajay Mishra Teni.

The move came after police produced evidence about the presence of Ashish in the convoy of cars where the incident took place in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3.

The statement of UP BJP chief Swantantra Dev Singh to party cadre on Sunday that “we are not in politics to trample someone under an SUV” is being seen in this light. However, murmurs of letting the law taking its own course have started emerging from other BJP quarters, especially, after Ashish’s arrest on Saturday following the interrogation.

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Meanwhile, Congress leaders led by party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra staged a silent protest (maun vrat) here on Monday demanding the dismissal of Union minister Ajay Mishra.

Congress workers, who sat on a ‘maun vrat’ in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at GPO park included state president Ajay Kumar Lallu, Legislature Party leader Aradhana Mishra, the leader in the Legislative Council Dipak Singh among others converged at the GPO park here and were later were joined by Priyanka Gandhi.

The party has been underscoring the dismissal of the minister from the Modi cabinet to ensure free and fair investigation in the case. UP minister Siddharth Nath Singh, however, said the law will take its own course and not be influenced by any kind of pressure. He further said if the Congress leaders want to sit on a ‘maun vrat’ or hold protests, it is their democratic right.