Rahul Singh, a leader of the Samajwadi Party’s youth wing and a loyalist of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, tried to immolate himself by pouring kerosene in front of the CM’s residence in Lucknow on Friday.
He was protesting against Akhilesh’s expulsion from the party over alleged indiscipline. Soon after Akhilesh’s father and party chief, Mulayam Singh Yadav, announced the shock decision, hundreds thronged to the CM’s 5 Kalidas Marg residence.
Shouting slogans, they expressed solidarity with the 43-year-old Akhilesh. Singh, who was seeking an SP ticket from Lucknow East, was among them. After his immolation bid, police rushed the Lucknow University student to a hospital nearby.
Fire-tenders and police teams were deployed outside the CM’s residence, as supporters accused Mulayam of doing “injustice” by expelling Akhilesh and his (Mulayam’s) cousin Ram Gopal Yadav.
Later at night, a high alert was sounded across the state in the wake of the ongoing war in the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP). Officials said instructions were sent to all district magistrates and police chiefs following protests.
Security arrangements were stepped up outside the SP headquarters in the state capital, the CM’s residence and the house of party chief Mulayam.
(With agency inputs)