Lucknow: Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday claimed he was stopped at Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport in Lucknow in a bid to prevent him from visiting Prayagraj to attend an oath-taking ceremony at Allahabad University.
“The government is afraid of oath ceremony of a student leader and is stopping me at the airport to prevent me from visiting Allahabad,” Yadav claimed.
He also posted photographs on his official Twitter handle in which he was seen talking to police officers inside the airport.
Allahabad University Student’s Union, dominated by the SP’s student wing, had invited Yadav for the union’s anniversary celebrations. But the Allahabad University authorities denied him permission, saying that political leaders are not to be invited for the event.
“I was prevented from boarding the airplane without any written orders. Currently detained at Lucknow airport. It is clear how frightened the government is by the oath ceremony of a student leader. The Bharatiya Janata Party knows that youth of our great country will not tolerate this injustice anymore!” Yadav tweeted.
When asked, Airport Director AK Sharma said, “I have no such information.”
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that Yadav’s visit to the swearing-in ceremony of a student leader in Allahabad would have sparked row in Prayagraj, where the Kumbh Mela is going on.
The CM also said that the SP is known for creating ruckus.
“The Samajwadi Party should do away with its unsocial activities. There is Kumbh going on in Prayagraj and even Yadav himself went there 10 days ago and took a dip at Sangam and had offered prayers. The party is known for creating the ruckus,” Yogi Adityanath said.
Adityanath, also said that the decision to not allow Yadav to attend the event was taken by the university authorities.
“It was the Allahabad University administration which asked the government to stop Yadav from coming to Prayagraj as it was suspected that his visit may have sparked violence on the campus between students groups. That is why he has been stopped from going to Prayagraj,” the chief minister added.
Reacting on the incident, Samajwadi Party MP Ramgopal Yadav said: “I directly blame the chief minister (Yogi Adityanath). Akhilesh had the permission. It was at the directions of the CM that he was stopped. They didn’t even let him reach Allahabad.”
The matter rocked the Uttar Pradesh legislature.
As soon as Samajwadi Party members came to know about their national president being stopped at the airport, they tried to raise the matter during Question Hour in the assembly.
“The present regime is trying to kill democracy and stop our leader from visiting Allahabad,” SP leader Narendra Verma said.
The members also trooped into the Well of the House due to which Speaker Hriday Narain Dixit adjourned the proceedings for 20 minutes during the Question Hour.
The matter was also raised in the Legislative Council, leading to the adjournment of the House for 25 minutes during the pre-lunch sitting.
Hours after Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav claimed that he was stopped at Lucknow airport, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati said it was extremely condemnable and asked whether the ruling BJP was afraid of their alliance because of which it is “resorting to anti-democratic methods”.
Mayawati described the episode as “an example of total dictatorship of BJP government”.
“This is very unfortunate and this undemocratic step will be fought at all levels,” she said.
“Is the BJP government at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh so afraid of BSP-SP alliance that it is resorting to anti-democratic methods to curb our political activities,” she asked.