LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav accused BJP leaders and workers on Thursday of indulging in anarchy and violence during the process of filing nominations for the election to the posts of chairpersons of kshetra panchayats and making a mockery of democracy.
"The ruling BJP has held the law and order of Uttar Pradesh hostage. The people belonging to the ruling party are openly throttling democracy and the police administration is watching this murder of democracy as mute spectators. The ruling partymen indulged in anarchy and violence during the nomination-filing process held on Thursday and made a mockery of democracy," he said in a release issued by the SP.
Yadav said former Uttar Pradesh Assembly speaker Mata Prasad Pandey's car was damaged in Siddharthnagar district's Etwa block.
He also said the nomination papers of his party candidate in Hardoi's Sandi block were torn while in Sambhal, Basti Ka Gaur, Jhansi's Baragaon block, Sitapur's Kasmanda block, Kanpur's Bilhaur and Shivrajpur, Bulandshahr, Lalitpur, Unnao, Ghazipur, Gorakhpur, Mahrajganj's Siswa, Paratawal, Paniyara, Sadar, Deoria's Bhatni, Chitrakoot's Manikpur and Karvi, Etah's Marhra, BJP workers created hurdles in the nomination-filing process of the SP-backed candidates.
The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister cited similar cases in Bahraich and Mahrajganj, where he said SP workers were beaten up when they protested against such tactics and were injured.
Journalists were beaten up and taken hostage in Kannauj while covering the nomination process, he said, alleging that the administrative officers are working as the agents of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
"This is an act of polluting the democratic system," Yadav said.
The SP chief also demanded fresh arrangements to give another opportunity to the candidates who have not been able to file their nominations or that the entire process is carried out again.
"The BJP has done a lot of harm to democracy. Constitutional rights are being violated in Uttar Pradesh. Candidates are being threatened. In many districts, the BJP did not allow the nomination process. The nomination papers of the SP candidates were snatched," he alleged.
"There is a huge public anger against the BJP, they will do full justice in the Assembly polls in 2022," Yadav added.
The State Election Commission (SEC) had on July 5 issued the notification for the election to the posts of chairpersons of the kshetra panchayats in the state for which nominations were filed between 11 am to 3 pm on Thursday.
The last date to withdraw the candidature is July 9.
Voting will be held on July 10 from 11 am to 3 pm and the counting of votes will be held the same day after 3 pm.
The chairpersons of the kshetra panchayats (block-level) will be elected members of the kshetra panchayats.
The kshetra panchayat of Mujhena in Gonda district will not be participating in this election as more than six months of its tenure are left, a senior SEC official said.