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Mulayam courts arrest in Lucknow

Leading an agitation against the rising prices of essential food items in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party (SP) national president Mulayam Singh Yadav, 71, courted arrest. Pankaj Jaiswal reports.

india Updated: Jan 19, 2010 23:35 IST
Pankaj Jaiswal

Leading an agitation against the rising prices of essential food items in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party (SP) national president Mulayam Singh Yadav, 71, courted arrest on Tuesday.

But soon after his release from custody, Mulayam vowed to continue the agitation. “There is anarchy in the state. There is no government.”

“The government is more interested in parks and memorials than in the welfare of the people,” he said after his release.

The former CM was among thousands of SP activists arrested across Uttar Pradesh. “In all, 7,084 people were arrested in the state, of which 752 were in Lucknow,” Additional Director General (Law & Order) of Police Brijlal said.

State SP President Akhilesh Yadav, Leader of the Opposition in the Vidhan Sabha Shivpal Yadav and senior party leader Janeshwar Mishra were arrested in Kanpur, Bareilly and Allahabad, respectively.

Since Monday night, the police began cordoning roads connecting the Samajwadi Party’s headquarters at Vikramaditya Marg with its party office in Kaiserbagh.

But the Samajwadi supremo tricked the police by piercing the three-tiered barricade. Instead of going in a procession, he went ahead with his SPG commandos in a car with two other cars trailing his vehicle. Once he reached the Hazratganj crossing, Mulayam got off the car and sat in the middle of the road. Within minutes, hundreds of workers in the area converged around him. After sitting on the road for 45 minutes, Mulayam was arrested and bundled off in a dilapidated bus.