KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday lauded a delegation of Trinamool Congress MPs for being the only opposition party leaders who, against all odds, succeeded in meeting family members of the farmers killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
The statement of Banerjee, also the TMC supremo, came on a day when Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was stopped from visiting the area in Uttar Pradesh where eight people were killed - four farmers were allegedly run over by a car and four people in a convoy of BJP workers who were lynched - during a peasants' protest on Sunday.
Gandhi on Wednesday evening reached Sitapur where some party office-bearers, including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, have been kept in detention since Monday after their failed bid to meet the affected families.
"We condemn the killing of farmers in Uttar Pradesh. The farmers were brutally murdered. Only a TMC delegation was able to reach the village and meet the family members. It took them 12 hours to reach the village. No other political party could reach them."
"Our party MP Dola Sen disguised herself as a Punjabi to reach the area. They did a good job," she said while inaugurating the puja edition of the TMC mouthpiece "Jago Bangla".
A delegation of five TMC MPs - Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Sushmita Dev, Abir Ranjan Biswas, Pratima Mondal and Dola Sen - on Tuesday met families of farmers killed in the Lakhimpur violence, claiming that they dodged policemen by posing as tourists.
At the programme, Banerjee was accompanied by a host of party leaders, including new inductees such as former union minister Babul Supriyo who quit the BJP recently.
The TMC boss requested everyone to maintain Covid-19 protocols during the Durga Puja celebrations.
Banerjee, along with Supriyo, singers Nachiketa and Indranil Sen, also sang the "Agamoni" song which is sung on the day of Mahalaya to welcome Goddess Durga.