In a move that could further strain Samajwadi Party's ties with the Congress, the SP-led government in Uttar Pradesh has decided to felicitate the people from state who were detained under MISA and DIR acts during the emergency days.
The decision, taken by the Chief Minister and party president Mulayam Singh Yadav, would "accord proper respect and extend facilities given to freedom fighters" to the detainees under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) and Defence of India Rules (DIR) acts of the 1975 emergency period, party MP Hari Kewal Prasad said.
Leaders of the party were touring the state to invite the MISA and DIR detainees, who would be felicitated at the June 26 ceremony, party sources said.
Reacting to the decision, Congress said Yadav was in the habit of felicitating hardcore criminals and mafia dons.
"People with criminal backgrounds have been made ministers by Yadav," UPCC spokesman Akhilesh Pratap Singh said in Lucknow.
State BJP chief Kesri Nath Tripathi questioned the SP's right to organise such a function when it was extending support to the Congress led-UPA government at the Centre.