When the entire Opposition walked out of Lok Sabha protesting the Unlawful Activities Prevention Amendment (UAPA) Bill on Wednesday, July 24, Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav voted in favour of the Bill. This was despite his party colleagues also walking out.
At the time of voting, two BJP MPs from Uttar Pradesh Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and Virendra Singh Mast came and sat beside Mulayam Singh and helped him vote for the BJP. He was their lone party member present in the House. After the Bill was passed, Home Minister Amit Shah even thanked Mulayam Singh. This comes amid speculation that Mulayam has been aiding BJP in Lok Sabha and the state to spite his son Akhilesh Yadav, who had forged an alliance with his enemy and BSP chief Mayawati.
Just before the completion of the previous Lok Sabha session, the SP leader had that he would want Narendra Modi to get another term as prime minister.
Even as Mulayam Singh voted in favour of the Bill, his party colleagues Mohammad Azam Khan, ST Hasan and a few others were extremely vocal against the Bill and y were demanding that it be sent to a Standing Committee.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) and several other Muslim parties too voted against the Bill. UAPA Bill was also supported by Biju Janata Dal too.
During a division of votes, which was demanded by AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owasi, it was recorded that as many as 287 MPs supported it and only eight opposed it.
Several of Opposition members attacked the government over the amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, saying the provisions were against the federal structure of the country. The proposed allows the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to go to any state without taking permission from state police concerned for checking anti-terror activities.
Citing examples of POTA and RADA, Danish Ali of BSP raised apprehensions about the misuse of the proposed law and of innocents being harassed. He pointed out that these laws were repealed by this House itself because of rampant misuse.
The amendments to the UAPA allow the agencies to designating a person as a terrorist. Earlier, an organisation could be designated as a terror body thus making it liable for a ban. It also allows the NIA director to seize the properties of the accused.