UP Congress leaders sit on day-long fast

UP Congress leaders sit on day-long fast after Sandesh Yatra stopped by police

The party alleged that police stopped Lallu and others at the Congress headquarters from going to Hazratganj

Policemen detain Congress Party workers protesting against the new farm laws during 'Congress Sandesh Yatra,' in front of Anand Bhavan in Prayagraj, Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. Credit: PTI Photo

Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu on Monday alleged that police stopped party leaders and him from paying tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at his statue here on the occasion of the Congress' 136th foundation day.

However, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Somen Burma said Congress leader Lallu was asked to go with only four others to pay tributes at the Gandhi statue in Hazratganj.

He did not agree, and since there is no permission to move in large numbers because of Covid-19, they were stopped, the DCP said.

Lallu, who sat on a day-long fast at the Congress' headquarters over the incident, said, "Workers and leaders were trying to take out the 'Congress Sandesh Yatra' on the occasion of the party's foundation day and reach the Gandhi statue, but police did not allow it."

The party alleged that police stopped Lallu and others at the Congress headquarters from going to Hazratganj. There was also a spat between police and Lallu, when he asked if the government would not allow him to put a garland around the Gandhi statue, the Congress claimed.

In a tweet, Lallu said, "Was going to offer flowers at the Gandhi statue on the occasion of foundation day but the arrogant UP government stopped me by deploying police force."

"In the country of Gandhiji, we cannot offer flowers on the statue of Gandhiji. What kind of democracy is this. There is an undeclared emergency in UP. We will fast," he said.

Later in a statement issued here by the UP Congress, Lallu said, "Today some anti-democratic powers are trying to crush the Constitution and constitutional institutions. If someone raises his voice for his rights, he is sent to jail. The Yogi Adityanath government is murdering democracy and violating constitutional rights."

"The (UP) Chief Minister makes a photo of him feeding cows with 'gurh' (jaggery), 'chana' (gram) and 'roti' viral. But the reality is that because of corruption, the cows are dying of hunger and cold," he said.

The UP Congress chief also said that when the party took out 'Gai Bachao-Kisan Bachao' padyatra, the state police stopped it and arrested the party workers.

"The police have brought me from Lalitpur to my Lucknow residence, and has put up a heavy cordon," he said in the statement.