LUCKNOW: The anger of Samajwadi Party workers spilled on to the streets across a dozen districts of the Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday when the state government barred SP chief Akhilesh Yadav from flying to
Prayagraj to attend the annual function of Allahabad university student union on the request of AU administration and a possible threat to law.
The outrage among the party workers and the senior party leaders was alike. SP national general secretary and RS member Ram Gopal Yadav came down heavily on the Yogi government saying that ‘emergency-like’ situation was prevailing in UP and the act of Yogi government stopping Akhilesh Yadav amounted to “murder of democracy”.
The issue echoed both in Parliament as well as the two houses of state legislature, which had to be adjourned till Wednesday as the SP MLAs and MLCs did not let it function.
“Till the time Yogi government tenders unconditional apology to Akhilesh, neither will we let the upper house of parliament work nor our protest on streets ebb,” asserted Ram Gopal Yadav claiming that the entire opposition was with the Samajwadi Party over the issue.
Reacting to the incident, the newfound ally of Samajwadis, BSP chief Mayawati also took to Twitter to express her solidarity with the SP chief and condemned the Yogi government.
“Extremely condemnable that Samajwadi Party president and former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was stopped at Lucknow airport today in order to prevent him from attending programme in Allahabad.
This is anti-democratic and an example of total dictatorship of BJP government,” tweeted the BSP chief.
She added: “Is the BJP government at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh so afraid of the BSP-SP alliance that it is resorting to anti-democratic methods in order to curb our political activities. This is very unfortunate and this undemocratic step will be fought with full might at all levels.”
Protests broke out in Prayagraj, Jaunpur, Jhansi, Kannauj, Balrampur, Jalaun, Azamgarh and Gorakhpur, Agra, Meerut, Moradabad among other places, where SP supporters indulged in big-time violence, vandalism, smashed windscreens of vehicles and clashed with the police. Roads were blocked in Gorakhpur. They even pelted stones at police parties at a number of places.
Agitated SP legislators also sat on dharna outside Raj Bhawan against the "undemocratic behaviour" of the BJP government after staging a noisy protest in the UP legislature. They relented when Governor Ram Naik sent a message to them that he would meet their delegation on Wednesday.
SP leaders said party MP Dharmendra Yadav was injured in Allahabad in cane charge by the police. Prayagraj witnessed heavy deployment of police and paramilitary forces on every nook and corner to contain the unrest perpetrated by SP workers, especially during the Kumbh.
Principal Secretary, Home, Arvind Kumar said the university administration did not permit any political programme on the campus fearing a breach of peace.
"Due to Kumbh, there is a huge congregation in Prayagraj. The district administration had intimated the ex-CM's office and Lucknow DM about the university decision," he confirmed.
Meanwhile, SP chief got the support of opposition from across the country and West Bengal CM Mamta Banerjee took lead in expressing solidarity with Akhilesh.