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Rahul Gandhi: “Why has Rahul Gandhi not visited victims of Kallakurichi liquor tragedy?” BJP on LoP’s Hathras visit

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New Delhi: When Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi visited Hathras to meet the grieving families who were affected in the stampede, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lambasted the Congress MP for being selective and not finding the “empathy” to visit the families of those who lost their lives in the Kallakurichi illicit liquor tragedy in Tamil Nadu.

At least 121 devotees lost their lives owing to a stampede at a religious ‘Satsang’ event of selfstyled godman Suraj Pal alias ‘Bhole Baba’ in Fulari village in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras on Tuesday.

BJP leader CR Kesavan said that neither Rahul Gandhi nor Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin have consoled the families of the victims of the Kallakurichi illicit liquor tragedy.”Why has Rahul Gandhi not found the empathy to visit the families of innocent people who lost their lives in the Kallakurichi illicit liquor tragedy?… Neither Rahul Gandhi nor MK Stalin have consoled the families of these victims…,” Kesavan said in a video statement on Friday.

Accusing Rahul Gandhi of making false statements on compensation to Agniveer Ajay Singh, Kesavan said, “Rahul Gandhi misled the people by making false claims about compensation provided to Agniveer Ajay Singh…Rahul Gandhi’s falsehoods will always be defeated…He should stop politicizing the martyrdom of Agniveers…He should apologize to the families of Agniveeers and the Indian Army…”

Uttar Pradesh Minister Baby RMaurya claimed that Rahul Gandhi had only gone to Hathras for his political gains adding that the state government has constituted a committee to probe into the incident.”… The CM has constituted a committee under the chairmanship of a retired judge . Legal action would be taken according to the report of the Committee… He (Rahul Gandhi) had only gone for his politics… When such huge events are organised, the government and the administration have to think whether permission should be given or not. I believe that such huge events should not be organised where there is a chance of loss of life…,” Maurya said. BJP national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi claimed that Rahul Gandhi has been engaging in the “politics of fear and confusion” ever since he was appointed the Leader of Opposition.

“Rahul Gandhi since he has become the LoP, he is doing the politics of fear and confusion. Yesterday, we have seen how he lied on Agniveer issue. Today, on this heartwrenching accident of Hathras, the politics that he is trying to do is very sad. Such incidents should be seen with utmost sensitivity,” Trivedi said speaking to ANI on Friday.

Questioning Rahul Gandhi’s silence on the Kallakurichi liquor tragedy in Tamil Nadu, Trivedi said that he should not view any incident with “vulture eyes”.

“I want to ask him that more than 50 people have died in Tamil Nadu ruled by his friends in INDI alliance, most of them were from SC community, leave aside going there, you haven’t even spoken about it…One shouldn’t see any incident with ‘vulture eyes’ for political benefits…,” Trivedi said.

Uttar Pradesh Minister Sandeep Singh took a dig at Rahul Gandhi saying that instead of consoling the stampedeaffected victims in Hathras, the Congress MP was seen taking “selfies” with them.

“This is a very serious incident… The compensatory cheques have also been distributed to almost all the families… Some people are doing politics even in such a serious matter… Rahul Gandhi met the family today and instead of consoling them, he was seen taking selfies…,” Singh said.

The Minister said that the central and the state government have announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakhs each for the bereaved families. The development comes after Congress leader and Lok Sabha LoP Rahul Gandhi met with the victims’ families in the Hathras stampede incident.

“The Prime Minister and the state government, both have announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakhs each for the bereaved families, the total is Rs 4 lakhs. The task of transferring this amount to the accounts of the people has already started. The BJP will help these families in any manner required,” he said.

Singh said that the volunteers of the Baba were handling the responsibility of security and didn’t allow the police to enter the premises.

“The security arrangements were made. The volunteers of the Baba took the responsibility of security and they do not allow the police to enter their premises. Police and firetenders were present at the venue. They have always been disallowing the police from entering the premises,” he said.

Union Minister Nityanand Rai on Friday said the central government has extended cooperation to the Uttar Pradesh government in the investigation into the stampede in Hathras in which 121 people died.

“It is a very sad and sensitive incident and that is being investigated thoroughly and whatever facts come out after the investigation, certainly the state government is keeping an eye on it and the Prime Minister is very sensitive towards such incidents,” he said during an event here.

“The cooperation which should have been given by the Central Government has been provided at that time and whatever elements will come out in the investigation, the state government will act on that,” the Union Minister added.

On the other hand, INDIA bloc partners claimed that being the Leader of Opposition, visiting Hathras after the stampede was a compassionate act on the part of Rahul Gandhi.

Communist Party of India (CPI) General Secretary D Raja said, “Rahul Gandhi is the leader of the opposition. It is a good thing that he went and met the affected people and the victims.”

In an attack at the state government, D Raja said, “Now the question is what is the responsibility of the Uttar Pradesh government?… The Uttar Pradesh government should be questioned… How are such things happening?…”

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi also appealed to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to provide compensation to the victims with an open heart. Supporting Rahul Gandhi, former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said, “It’s a very unfortunate incident…The compensation for the bereaved families should be increased…”

Delhi Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said that if the state government cannot provide adequate compensation the central government should step up.

“The compensation should definitely be increased. All of it should be provided by the Central government. If the Uttar Pradesh government has some economic issue, then the Central government should do it…,” Bharadwaj said.

Maharashtra Assembly LoP Vijay Wadettiwar blamed the government for the incident and said that while people should be followers they should not be “blind followers”.

“It was a tragic incident… People should be followers but, nowadays, they are blind followers. The government should look after the proper arrangements and administration of such programs. The government is responsible for this incident…,” Wadettiwar said.

Calling for an investigation into the incident, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said that the government does not have any intention to make guidelines for events in which such huge crowds are expected to turn up.

“There are no clear regulations in place and there is no intention of the govt to make guidelines for such events…A thorough investigation should be conducted into the incident and based on it strict action should be taken…,” Yechury said speaking to ANI.

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi who arrived in Hathras early in the morning on Friday, met with the bereaved families of those who lost their lives in the July 2 tragedy.

On his way to Hathras, the Congress leader also stopped in Aligarh to meet the victims’ families. He expressed his condolences and sought to understand their situation.

“It is a sad incident. Many lives have been lost. I am not approaching this from a political perspective but addressing the deficiencies of the administration. The main priority should be to provide maximum compensation to the poor families affected by this tragedy. I request CM Yogi Adityanath to provide compensation with an open heart,” he said while speaking to the media.

The Congress MP further said that the family members of the deceased informed him there was no police presence at the event, which contributed to the chaos.

“If there is a delay in providing compensation, it will not help anyone. I spoke with the families, and they told me there was no police arrangement at the venue. They are in shock, and I wanted to understand their situation,” he said.