SP workers go on rampage as govt clips Akhilesh's wings
‘In bid to prevent me from visiting Allahabad, I was stopped at Lucknow airport’
Lucknow: Samajwadi Party workers went on the rampage across several parts of Uttar Pradesh Tuesday after the government clipped the wings of their president Akhilesh Yadav, preventing him from flying to Allahabad on grounds of law and order. Yadav said he was stopped by authorities at the Lucknow airport in a bid to prevent him from visiting Allahabad, triggering outrage by party lawmakers in the state legislature and workers outside the airport.
The issue rocked the Rajya Sabha as SP and other opposition parties protested over the incident, disrupting the proceedings of the House. The matter also caused an uproar in both Houses of the Uttar Pradesh legislature.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told reporters that Yadav's visit could have triggered violence between rival student groups at the university. "The Allahabad University had urged the government to stop his visit and the government acted," he said. As soon as Samajwadi members came to know that Yadav was stopped at the airport, they raised the matter during the Question Hour in the assembly.
"The present regime is trying to kill democracy and stop our leader from visiting Allahabad," party leader Narendra Verma alleged.
The members also trooped into the Well of the House, prompting Speaker Hriday Narain Dixit to adjourn proceedings for 20 minutes. It was later extended for the entire Question Hour and then for the day. BSP leader Lalji Verma also supported the SP members, saying, "There is an anarchic government in the state which wants to suppress the voice of opposition."
Responding to the issue, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Kumar Khanna said, "The district magistrate informed him (Yadav) not to visit Prayagraj as it could create law and order problems."
He alleged SP and BSP members "throttled democracy by not allowing the House to function".
Amid all this high drama, Yadav kept tweeting that he was "prevented from boarding the airplane without any written orders". "Currently detained at Lucknow airport," he claimed.
"It is clear how frightened the government is by the oath ceremony of a student leader. The BJP knows that youth of our great country will not tolerate this injustice anymore!" Yadav tweeted. The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said he was to fly to Allahabad from Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport to attend an event at Allahabad University.
He posted photographs on his official Twitter handle in which he was seen talking to police officers inside the airport. The issue also generated heat outside the Vidhan Bhavan. Agitated SP workers gathered outside the assembly complex in the heart of Lucknow to protest. Many of them, wearing red caps, also rushed to the airport.
Protests broke out in Allahabad, Jaunpur, Jhansi, Kannauj, Balrampur, Jalaun, Azamgarh and Gorakhpur, among other places, where SP supporters smashed windscreens of vehicles and clashed with the police. Roads were blocked in Gorakhpur.
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. Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar said the university administration did not permit any political programme on the campus fearing breach of peace. Addressing a hurriedly convened Press conference, Yadav alleged that the Centre was "involved" in stopping him at the airport here and preventing him from flying to Allahabad.