LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday accused the BJP of importing workers from Gujarat to train its cadres in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh in spreading "hatred and rumours".
He asked the Election Commission to take cognisance of the issue and send them back, failing which, he said elections may not remain impartial.
"None of our workers are from other states. I will ask my journalist friend to give me the list of people that have come from Gujarat. I will write to the Election Commission to send back also those who have arrived here from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh," he said.
Yadav said photos that are doing rounds on the social media convey that BJP workers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state had arrived in Uttar Pradesh to spread "rumours, conspiracies, lies and hatred, besides distributing money".
The SP chief addressed journalists at the party office after inducting former Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister Dara Singh Chauhan and Apna Dal (Sonelal) MLA RK Verma into the party.
Responding to Anurag Thakur's jibe that SP leaders were either "in jail or out on bail", Yadav asked journalists to look into the Union minister's records in various ministries.
Welcoming former Kanpur Police Commissioner Asim Arun into the BJP fold, Thakur had on Sunday said those indulging in riots join the SP and those who crack the whip on rioters join the BJP.
Commenting on the former IPS officer, Yadav said he will move the Election Commission demanding that those officials, who had been discharging duties with Asim Arun, be kept away from poll duties or else they too would "double up as BJP workers".
"I am hopeful that the Election Commission will act on such officials. If does not, it will raise questions on the Election Commission's sanctity," Yadav said.
Reacting to Yadav's comments, Uttar Pradesh BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi told PTI, "Akhilesh Yadav heads a state party, and not a national party. He is afraid of the BJP and has been making baseless remarks. All these show that he is trying to establish reasons for his party's electoral loss."
Union Minister Anurag Thakur on Sunday targeted the Samajwadi Party, saying that people indulging in riots go to Akhilesh Yadav's party, while those who catch the rioters join the BJP.
He was speaking at the BJP's Uttar Pradesh headquarters on the occasion of former IPS officer Asim Arun joining the party.
Later, two Samajwadi Party (SP) MLCs -- Shailendra Pratap Singh and Ghanshyam Lodhi -- and former IAS officer Ram Bahadur also joined the BJP, the party's state co-media in-charge Abhay Singh said.
Asserting that those with a clean image are coming to the BJP, Thakur said, "Those who indulge in riots go to the Samajwadi Party, and those who catch the rioters, join the BJP".
The BJP leader's remarks come ahead of the elections to the 403-member Uttar Pradesh assembly, which will be held in seven phases beginning February 10.
Counting of votes is on March 10.
"The real 'khel' (game) of the Samajwadi Party is that the candidate is either in jail or on bail," the Union information and broadcasting minister said, referring to the SP's list of candidates for the polls.
"If you see MLA Nahid Hasan (the SP candidate from Kairana), he is SP's candidate number one. He is in jail. The second MLA is Abdullah Azam, who is on bail. If you see the list of SP candidates, it starts from the one in jail, and ends with the one on bail. The game of jail-bail is the real 'khel' of the SP," Thakur said.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also attacked the SP, saying while the BJP's list of candidates for the assembly polls has given representation to different sections of society, the SP's list consists of names of criminals.
"If you have seen the list of the SP-alliance, then tickets have been given to people responsible for the exodus of Hindu traders from Kairana and riots in Muzaffarnagar, and a history sheeter from Loni," Adityanath said.
On Asim Arun's joining the BJP, the Union minister said, "This is clear before society that officials with a clean image are coming to join the BJP, while those indulging in riots are in the SP."
He also accused SP candidate Hasan of forcing the "exodus" of people, referring to the alleged incident in Kairana from years back.
Sitting SP MLA from Kairana, Hasan, on Friday became the first candidate to file his nomination papers for the assembly polls.
The two-time legislator from the constituency was on Saturday sent to 14-day judicial custody by a special court after being arrested by police, officials said.
Earlier, police had invoked the stringent Gangsters Act against Hasan.
Abdullah Azam, who is the son of senior SP leader Azam Khan, was released from the Sitapur jail on Saturday evening.
At the BJP headquarters, state party chief Swatantra Dev Singh, and Union Minister Thakur, who is also the BJP's election co-incharge, gave the party's membership to Asim Arun.
Singh lauded Asim Arun and his father Sriram Arun, a former DGP of Uttar Pradesh.
Speaking to reporters, Asim Arun said, "The BJP has given me a chance to serve the people. The decision to opt for VRS was not an easy one."
"On the one hand, I had nine years of service still left in the police, and there was an opportunity to climb to higher posts. On the other hand, there was an ordinary life, and a chance to serve the public," he said.
"I think that Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has a rare thought process, and the speciality of the BJP is to develop a new leadership," Asim Arun said.
He also said that the past five years were good from the law and order point of view, and police personnel and officers got an excellent opportunity to work.
On January 10, the Uttar Pradesh government approved the voluntary retirement request of Kanpur Police Commissioner Asim Arun.
The senior IPS officer of the 1994-batch had applied for premature retirement amid speculation of his entry into active politics and contesting the assembly polls.
Fifty-one-year-old Asim Arun was an additional director general of police (ADGP)-rank officer, who has previously helmed the state's Anti-Terrorist Squad, the 112 service besides leading the police force in districts like Aligarh, Gorakhpur and Agra.
During central deputation, Asim Arun, served in the Special Protection Group (SPG) when Manmohan Singh was prime minister.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday said while the BJP's list of candidates for the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls has given representation to different sections of society, the Samajwadi Party's list consists of names of criminals.
Elections for the 403-member state assembly will be held in seven phases, beginning February 10, while counting of votes will be held on March 10.
Speaking to reporters after reviewing the King George Medical University's preparedness to deal with Covid cases, Adityanath said, "The BJP yesterday released its list of candidates. You have seen that it symbolises social justice, and has given representation to different sections of society."
Every person, who has seen the BJP list, feels that the essence of 'sabka saath, sabka vikaas' has been incorporated in it, the chief minister, who will be contesting the polls from Gorakhpur, said.
"But, if you have seen the list of the Samajwadi Party (SP)-alliance, then tickets have been given to people responsible for the exodus of Hindu traders from Kairana and riots in Muzaffarnagar, and to a history sheeter from Loni," Adityanath said.
This shows the character of the SP and its alliance partners, he said.
"They want to make a government a medium to exploit (people) through criminals and mafia. This is their social justice, and this was clearly visible in their ticket distribution," Adityanath said.