The Samajwadi Party has claimed that a number of its leaders have been put under house arrest in Kannauj where party president Akhilesh Yadav’s wife and sitting MP Dimple Yadav is contesting the Lok Sabha elections. Kannauj is considered a Samajwadi bastion.

SP state president Naresh Uttam sent a letter to the UP Election Commission late on Sunday night, attaching photographs of police personnel camping outside the houses of senior SP leaders in the district.

However, the police are maintaining silence over the matter. Kannauj Superintendent of Police Amrendra Pratap Singh refused to comment, IANS said in a report.

Quoting sources, the report said more than 10 leaders had been put under this “house arrest”, which prevented them from carrying out any political activity ahead of the polls.

Samajwadi leader Anil Arya alleged that the party leaders were being harassed by the police at the behest of the BJP government. “Not even one BJP leader has been put under house arrest, but our leaders are being stopped by the police and have been trapped inside their houses,” he told reporters.

SP leader Tehseen Siddiqui said, “This is blatant misuse of power and democracy is being murdered by such acts.”

Additional Chief Electoral Officer B.D. Tiwari has taken cognizance of the issue and has sought a report from the Kannauj District Magistrate.

SP national spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said officers in charge of Gursahayganj Kotwali in Chibbramau and Saurik police station in Tirwa were acting against SP workers at the behest of BJP government.

Kannauj has been with the Samajwadi Party since 1998.