Prevented from boarding a flight to Prayagraj, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stating that the government is scared.
Yadav was flying to Prayagraj in a private plane to attend the oath-taking ceremony of the Students Union at Allahabad University.
He was stopped at the airport by a senior district official who reportedly said that the Samajwadi Party leader did not have permission to take the flight.
In a press conference held immediately after the incident, Yadav said, “To be stopped from speaking, from asking questions that are on everyone’s lips and prevented from engaging with the youth is just another clear sign that the government is scared.”
He said that the BJP and all their supporters are considering Allahabad University elections as their own elections.
“Govt and all the ministers were contesting the polls. Whenever CM (Yogi Adityanath) went to university, he must have been ordering his people that these polls must not be lost,” he alleged.
In a statement, Yadav said that the BJP has lost the faith that the youth of this country.
“They have betrayed the aspirations and hopes of crores of young people in their blind pursuit of creating a monochrome India,” he said.
Urging people to defeat “an ideology that threatens the country”, Yadav said, “The youth tell me that they will never again be fooled by rhetoric that is designed to divide and conquer.”
But while Akhilesh slammed the BJP, reports state that the Allahabad University had clearly told him that politicians were not allowed in their programmes.
Reports say that the Registrar of Allahabad University had on Monday written to Yadav’s personal secretary informing him about the University’s policy.
Citing the University’s policy, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said, “Allahabad University requested that Akhilesh Yadav’s visit may create law and order problem because of the dispute between student organisations. Hence the government took this step.”
“There may be arson and sabotage. The University requested the state administration and there is huge gathering because of Kumbh; almost 25-30 lakh people are visiting Kumbh every day, it can be dangerous. Kumbh is being successfully organised. They have been stopped at request of the University,” he said.
There may be arson & sabotage, the University requested the state admin & there is huge gathering becoz of Kumbh, almost 25-30 lakh people r visiting Kumbh everyday, it can be dangerous, Kumbh is being successfully organized. They have been stopped at request of the University.
— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) February 12, 2019
Yadav received support from other anti-BJP leaders such as Mayawati and Mamata Banerjee.
In tweets, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati condemned the incident calling it “anti-democratic and an example of total dictatorship of BJP government”.
“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 at all levels,” she said.
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 at all levels.
— Mayawati (@Mayawati) February 12, 2019
The BSP and the SP recently forged an alliance to take on the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, too, joined in criticising the BJP over the incident, stating that she has spoken to Yadav regarding it.
“I’ve already spoken to @yadavakhilesh. We all condemn the arrogant attitude of the so-called #BJP ‘leaders’ who didn’t allow Akhilesh to address the students. Even @jigneshmevani80 was not allowed. Where is the democracy in our country? And they are giving lessons to everybody!” she tweeted.
I’ve already spoken to @yadavakhilesh. We all condemn the arrogant attitude of the so-called #BJP ‘leaders’ who didn’t allow Akhilesh to address the students. Even @jigneshmevani80 was not allowed. Where is the democracy in our country? And they are giving lessons to everybody!
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) February 12, 2019
Yadav, on his part, said during the press conference that he had sent his schedule for Allahabad University many months ago.
“The first schedule was sent on 27 December so that if there is any objection then it could be raised,” he said.
“Now when event is round the corner, three bombs were exploded where stage was set. Neither government nor administration took any action against the ones who did it. In democracy it never happens that administration helps in throwing of bombs when event is about to take place,” he alleged.
On Sunday, bombs were hurled at a group of students protesting in the Union Hall against Yadav’s planned visit to the University to attend a function organised on the anniversary of AU Students Union.
According to reports, AU authorities and the police had refused the event organisers the permission to invite Yadav.