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Anxious that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yogi Adityanath may use his communal rhetoric to polarise votes in the September 13 byelections, the Samajwadi Party (SP) government has expedited investigations into criminal cases pending against him.
The SP has directed the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) to submit a report on the investigation into a 2000 attempt to murder case registered against the Gorakhpur MP. A sample of the speech, in an alleged hate speech case registered against him in 2007, has also been sent for forensic testing.
Adityanath has challenged the case claiming the speech was doctored as part of a conspiracy against him.
SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said that the BJP was fearful that the Modi wave was fading. "This is why BJP's Hindutva faces have been entrusted with polarising the voters which the state government would not allow," he said.
Adityanath will launch his election campaign in west UP on September 5.
"Hindutva issues - an effective check on conversion, love jihad and a ban on cow slaughter will be on my agenda," Adityanath told HT, adding that the state unit had already launched agitations in west UP.
ADG (Law and Order) Mukul Goel said that the administration of the poll-bound districts had been instructed to take strict action against those violating the model code of conduct which is in force.
The police have been told to record Adityanath's public meetings on video.
The state home department has sought a report from district magistrates of Saharanpur, Noida, Bijnore and Moradabad on the situation in constituencies facing bypolls.
"State government might seek a ban from the EC on Adityanath's rallies if the DMs feel they may lead to law and order problem or spark communal tension," said a home department officer.