Priyanka Gandhi’s ‘Indira moment’, say party colleagues after video of her being detained by U.P. police surfaces

The angry avatar of the Congress general secretary has led party colleagues and social media users to compare her with grandmother Indira Gandhi’s arrest on the same day 44 years ago.

A short video of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra fiercely arguing with Uttar Pradesh police officials, moments after she was detained at Sitapur while on her way to Lakhimpur Kheri early on Monday, has not only gone viral but has become a rallying point for party colleagues.

The angry avatar of Ms. Vadra has led party colleagues and social media users to compare her with grandmother Indira Gandhi’s arrest on the same day 44 years ago.

Live updates | Akhilesh Yadav, Priyanka Gandhi detained

In the video, she is seen questioning the police officials under what authority they were trying to push her into a police vehicle.

“In doing so, you can be held for physical assault, attempt to kidnap, attempt to molest and attempt to harm. I understand everything. Go get a warrant from your officers and Ministers. And learn how to behave with women,” Ms. Vadra said in angry tone.

“There is law in this country even if there isn’t in your State. You have forcibly brought me here by pushing and shoving,” she added.

In another video, she is seen fiercely arguing with the policemen when they were pushing her colleague and Rajya Sabha member Deepender Hooda into a police vehicle.

Ms. Vadra and Mr. Hooda arrived in Lucknow late on Sunday night and had straightaway left for Lakhimpur Kheri by car to meet the families of the victims of Sunday’s incident in which four farmers and four others were killed.

Rahul Gandhi’s tweet

“Priyanka, I know you won’t back off. They are scared of your courage. In this non-violent fight for justice, we will make the country’s ‘annadata’ [food givers] win,” tweeted her brother and former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.

Former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar compared the moment with the arrest of Indira Gandhi by the Janata government.

“If arrest of Mrs Indira Gandhi on October 3, 1977 proved to be the undoing of Janata Party’s govt , the arrest of Priyanka Gandhi on October 3, 2021 marks the beginning of the end of BJP govt,” Mr. Jakhar tweeted.

Echoing Mr. Jakhar, Youth Congress chief Srinivas B.V. tweeted, “This Day – That Year. Indira returns”.

“A ‘sherni’ on the prowl in Lakhimpur Khiri,” tweeted Salman Khurshid, one of the Congress leader who was supposed to join Ms. Vadra but is reportedly under house arrest in Lucknow.

“While the murderers of our ‘annadatas’ get away scot free, Yogi Govt in UP is going all out to stop #PriyankaGandhi from meeting the bereaved families at #lakhimpurkheri. No force can stop her & @INCIndia delegation from meeting the victims’ families. More power to you Priyanka ji,”general secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal said on twitter and tagged Ms. Vadra’s video of arguing with police officials.

The Congress continues to be a marginal player in Uttar Pradesh but Ms. Vadra, who is the AICC in charge for the State, has adopted a confrontational approach with the Yogi Adityanath government.

From taking on the Adityanath government over providing buses to transport migrant workers during the COVID-19 lockdown in March last year to fighting for justice for the family of a Dalit girl who was raped and murdered at Hathras last year, the Congress leader has tried to raise the profile of her party to compensate for the lack of strong organisation on the ground ahead of next year’s Assembly polls in the State.

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