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Varun Gandhi refuses to back down, now posts clip of Vajpayee’s 1980 pitch for farmer rights

Varun Gandhi’s vocal support for Lakhimpur Kheri agitation and farmers’ protest comes months before 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, where BJP is hoping for re-election.

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New Delhi: BJP MP Varun Gandhi continues to remain vocal on the issue of farmers rights, days after he was reportedly dropped from the party’s top decision-making body following his calls for action against the perpetrators of violence in Lakhimpur Kheri.

In his latest tweet Thursday, he posted a short clip from a speech of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, where he seeks to warn the government against intimidating and repressing farmers. “Wise words from a big-hearted leader…” reads the accompanying text.

A label on the 42-second clip shows the video was shot in 1980, the year the BJP was founded.

“I want to warn the government against intimidating these farmers. Don’t try to scare us. These farmers are not going to be scared. We don’t want to use the farmers’ movements for politics,” Vajpayee is heard saying in the video. “We support their genuine demands and if the government will try to scare us, or misuse the laws, or disregard the peaceful movement of farmers, then we will also become a part of this farmers’ protest in their support.”

Varun Gandhi’s vocal support for the Lakhimpur Kheri agitation and the farmers’ protest comes months before the 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, where the BJP is hoping for re-election.

A senior BJP leader said Varun Gandhi has been expressing his unhappiness with the party over being “ignored” for quite some time and for not finding a place in the Cabinet reshuffle earlier this year. “It seems he has almost made up his mind to quit. Now, whether he will quit or the party will be forced to take some action is something that we need to wait and watch,” the leader added. 

Eight people were killed in violence that erupted in Lakhimpur Kheri on 3 October, during a farmers’ protest. Union MoS Ajay Mishra’s convoy allegedly ploughed into a group of farmers at the site, triggering clashes. 

Varun Gandhi has been calling for action in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident. On 10 October, he alleged there was an attempt to turn the violence in the Lakhimpur Kheri district into a “Hindu vs Sikh battle”.

Three days earlier, before the arrest of Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish in the case, Gandhi posted a viral video purportedly from Lakhimpur Kheri, and said “there has to be accountability for the innocent blood of farmers that has been spilled and justice must be delivered before a message of arrogance and cruelty enters the minds of every farmer”.

He has also been seeking a hike in sugarcane prices for farmers in Uttar Pradesh.

(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)

Also Read: Varun Gandhi dropped from BJP national executive after Lakhimpur Kheri tweets, Maneka out too


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