Former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav was on Tuesday stopped from boarding a chartered flight at the Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport at Lucknow for Allahabad (renamed Prayagraj).
While the Government claimed it was fear of a possible law & order issue that led to the denial, Samajwadi Party sources pointed out that Akhilesh Yadav was to be felicitated by the Akhara Parishad at Prayag for successfully hosting the last ‘Kumbh’ in 2013. This more than anything else led to the government action, they alleged.
Both Houses of the Uttar Pradesh Legislature were adjourned for the day after opposition members questioned the state Government’s intention.
In the Vidhan Sabha Parliamentary Affairs minister Suresh Khanna said that a section of the Allahabad University Students’ Union (ABVP) had demanded that no political leader be allowed to take part in the Students Union’s swearing in ceremony. In AUSU the president-elect is from the youth wing of SP while the secretary is from ABVP.
“The District Magistrate of Prayagraj had sent a letter saying there could be students’ unrest if Yadav visited the university. Based on that report Yadav was informed yesterday (Monday) not to go to Prayagraj. Despite that he went to the airport, but fearing law and order problem he was not allowed to go to Prayagraj,” Khanna said as the whole opposition in Vidhan Sabha comprising Samajwadi Party, BSP and Congress were on their feet raising slogans against government.
Observers recalled that during the SP Government’s tenure, Yogi Adityanath too had been stopped from visiting the Allahabad University campus . And this could be a ‘tit for tat’ response by the Yogi. Samajwadi Party sources, however, claimed there was much more to it than what met the
In fact, after the Students’ Union meeting Akhilesh Yadav was to go to the Sangam where Akhara Parishad was to felicitate the former Chief Minister for organising Kumbh mela successfully in 2013. This could be the main reason for Yogi to deny him permission to go to Prayagraj.
Samajwadi Party law maker from Karchchana in Prayagraj district Ujjawal Raman Singh told this reporter that the Yogi Government was scared that if Akhara Parishad honoured Akhilesh Yadav, he would walk away with their Hindutva agenda of BJP.
“Chief Minister might be thinking that he had spent over ₹4000 Crore and sadhus are honouring Akhilesh yadav for suceessfully organising Kumbh in 2013,” Singh said. “This fear has forced them to detain Akhilesh Yadav at the airport,” he said.
In his statement Akhilesh Yadav said that he was stopped from boarding a flight to Allahabad to attend a student union programme. “I haven’t been given a reason why — but it seems the general impression was that I would create a law and order problem. The Chief Minister has given a statement to this effect but they are using this as a cover to hide their nervousness because our youth have had enough. If there was a genuine problem, the police there would have objected, or asked for a change in my schedule. I understand the need to ensure the safety of people and property and would never do anything to endanger either knowingly,” he said.
“But, to be stopped from speaking, from asking questions that are on everyone’s lips — to be prevented from engaging with the youth is just another clear sign of how scared the government is,” Yadav said in his written statement.
They have lost Uttar Pradesh, but more than an election, they have lost the faith that the youth of this country reposed in them, he said and added: I stand with the youth of Uttar Pradesh and this country, and they stand with me. Today, I ask everyone to come forward and join hands — not to win an election — but to defeat, and forever stand vigilant against, an ideology that threatens to unravel the beautiful tapestry of our country.”