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Lakhimpur Kheri Case: Varun Gandhi, mother Maneka removed from key BJP panel

New Delhi: Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi and his mother Maneka Gandhi have been removed from the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) National Executive Committee, hours after his criticism of the killing of farmers in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri.

The new list of appointed members of the top BJP panel, as released by party president JP Nadda on October 7, confirmed the omission of Varun and Maneka.

BJP veteran Vinay Katiyar’s name was also missing from the 80-member list announced by Nadda.

Notably, the National Executive comprises of party’s top leaders, who meet to discuss key issues facing the government and shape the organisation’s agenda.

The 41-year-old Varun, who has been dropped from the committee months before the upcoming assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, has been critical of Lakimpur Kheri violence, demanding accountability for the farmers killed.

Varun, on October 7, posted a video purportedly of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident and said the protesters “cannot be silenced through murder”. He demanded accountability for “the innocent blood of farmers”.

“The video is crystal clear. Protestors cannot be silenced through murder. 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 tweeted.

The 37-second clip shared by him shows a speeding Mahindra Thar jeep running over people. Two SUVs — one black and another white — was seen following the jeep while there is commotion of people shouting and crying in the video.

The video, which has gone viral on social media, is said to have been shot on October 3, the day on which violence took place in Lakhimpur Kheri. Varun, cousin of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, is, perhaps, the only BJP MP to be vocally seeking justice for the victims of Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

Former Union Minister, Maneka Gandhi, MP from Sultanpur and her son Varun joined the BJP in 2004. Varun contested his first election in 2009. In 2013, he was made general secretary in the party. Varun’s constituency Pilibhit is adjacent to Lakhimpur Kheri. The region is home to a large number of Sikh farmers.

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