Akhilesh Yadav, stopped from joining ‘Kisan Yatra’, detained outside his Lucknow house
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav was on Monday detained after he launched a sit-in protest outside his residence in Lucknow before being stopped from going to Kannauj to lead a protest against the Centre’s three farm laws. Over hundreds of workers of the party, who continued with their protest against the farm laws enacted earlier this year, were also arrested in Kannauj.
Yadav also wrote to Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla over the protests asking him to step in. “Apart from being a Lok Sabha member and Samajwadi Party national president, I had fulfilled my constitutional duty as UP chief minister. There was a pre-announced programme of mine in Kannauj in support of farmers. All preparations were in place. But on the instructions of the UP government, I was prevented from going to Kannauj,” he said.
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He added that a heavy police force has been deployed at his house on Vikramaditya Marg. “The police even took my vehicle under their control. This undemocratic behaviour of the state government is not only an infringement of my rights as a citizen but also of special privileges as an LS member. Kindly interfere so that my right to my democratic duties is restored,” Yadav wrote.
The Samajwadi Party president had announced statewide Kisaan Yatra - on foot, bicycles, motorcycles, tractors, etc - to protest the new agricultural reforms and lend support to the farmers’ cause. Earlier in the day, the SP president had tweeted asking people to join the protest rally. “Step by step, bow your head. Yeh jung hai zameen ki. Join the ‘Kisan Yatra’!” he wrote on Twitter in Hindi.
The police have cordoned off Vikramaditya Marg where Yadav’s house is and also deployed anti-riot vehicles. They already took two SP legislative council members - Ashu Malik and Rajpal Kashyap - and sent them to the police lines.
After Yadav was prevented from going to Kannauj, Rajendra Chaudhary, SP state spokesperson and former UP minister said, “This government is so scared of Akhilesh ji taking to streets. He has to go there to participate in the farmers’ protest and drive a tractor along with the farmers to raise their issue. First, the central government introduced draconian kind of farm laws and now the state government is preventing our party from protesting. This all is so anti-democratic,” said.