Aatankwad remark: SP members demand apology from CM Adityanath

Soon after Question Hour in the Assembly, Leader of Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary demanded an apology from Adityanath. Referring to the Malegaon blast case, Chaudhary alleged that BJP and its associated organisations were linked to terrorism.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow | Published: February 13, 2018 2:06:16 am
SP members protest in the House on Monday; (Below) An SP member holds up a copy of a news article on remarks made by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. (Express Photo by Vishal Srivastav)

While Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was busy campaigning in Tripura, the Assembly and Legislative Council on Monday witnessed pandemonium with Samajwadi Party members demanding an “apology” from the CM for allegedly equating the concept of samajwad (socialism) to aatankwad (terrorism).

Speaking at an event in Lucknow two days ago, Adityanath had allegedly said: “Dr Ramnohar Lohia jis samajwadi vichar dhara ka netritva karte they woh hamare kareeb thi. Lekin ajke samajwadi jatiwad, vanshwad, atankwad, bhrashtachar aur arajakta ke karib hain… Apne anuyayiyon ka acharan dekh kar Dr Lohia ki atma dukhi hogi (The socialism thought process promoted by Dr Ramnohar Lohia was close to us… But today’s socialism is more close to casteism, nepotism, terrorism, corruption and lawlessness… Dr Lohia’s soul would have been saddened by his followers’ behaviour).”

Soon after Question Hour in the Assembly, Leader of Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary demanded an apology from Adityanath. Referring to the Malegaon blast case, Chaudhary alleged that BJP and its associated organisations were linked to terrorism. He claimed that automatic transfer of right to contest state elections from Gorakhpur — from Digvijaynath to Avaidhnath and now to Adityanath (all Gorakhnath Math priests) — was actual “vanshwad (nepotism)”.

As members of the treasury benches stood up to object, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna said the CM, who is a “tyagi, tapasvi aur sanyasi” was not present in the House to reply but the fact remains that neither Khanna nor Chaudhary were present at that event where the statement was allegedly made. He added that traditionally, the Assembly doesn’t take cognizance of newspaper reports. “…Facts should be checked before placing them in front of the House…. The CM had also praised Ram Manohar Lohia and said that Lohia would have been troubled on seeing the present day samajwadis,” said Khanna.

This prompted SP members to rush to the Well of the House, raising slogans like “Yogi teri tanashahi nahi chalegi” and “Yogi baba sharam karo”.  “SP had divided people in the name of religion and promoted a specific caste during its regime… If such a statement (by the CM) was made then it was not completely wrong too,” Khanna later said in the House.

Amid the din, the House was initially adjourned for 15 minutes, as BSP members could not raise the issue of the death of a Dalit student in Allahabad due to sloganeering by SP members. Dileep, a second-year student of LLB, had on Sunday succumbed to his injuries, two days after he was thrashed by a group following an altercation outside a restaurant in Allahabad.

After repeated adjournments, which continued for about two hours, the House was adjourned for the day by Speaker Hriday Narayan Dixit. Similar scenes were also witnessed in the Legislative Council over the death of the Dalit student and the CM’s reported remarks. Both issues were raised by SP.

PTI reported that Leader of Opposition and SP member Ahmed Hasan raised the murder incident as soon as the Question Hour started. He alleged that though such incidents were taking place across the country, the government is silent. Referring to a recent dacoity in Lucknow’s Kakori area, he said that crime has increased and the law and order system collapsed.

SP members Sunil Singh Sajan, Anand Bhadauria and Rajpal Kashyap marched into the Well of the House, demanding an apology from the CM over his alleged remarks on samajwad and aatankwad. Some SP members also hurled paper balls at the Chair, which were stopped by marshals.

Chairman Ramesh Yadav first adjourned the Question Hour and when the uproar did not subside in the Zero Hour, he adjourned the House for the day. Later, speaking to mediapersons, SP’s Ram Govind Chaudhary said, “Every party has its own ideology… Samajwad gave leaders like Acharya Narendra Dev, Lohia and Chandrashekar among others… leaders who were intellectuals and fought for Independence. In fact, in Malegaon (blast case), people associated with Jan Sangh were named and even MCOCA was invoked against them… it was in BJP’s regime that terrorist Masood Azhar was sent back in a plane.”

However, Suresh Khanna said: “There is no question of the CM apologising, as he had not said anything wrong. Moreover, these people have no work and do not want to let others work. Four days were set for discussion on the Governor’s address and many leaders wanted to speak but they created an uproar on February 9 and today. Two days have been lost because of their attitude.”

“Before making allegations against pious people (referring to Digvijaynath, Avaidyanath and Adityanath), SP should first understand the meaning of vanshwad,” he added. Khanna said that while “vanshwad” refers to father transferring power to son, “the people Chaudhary were referring to are disciples”.

Referring to SP, he asked who had called “SIMI a samajik sangathan” and how many people from one family were given red beacon cars during the previous regime. On the Dalit student’s death, Khanna said: “It was not a planned incident… it was an isolated incident, which took place following a dispute… The government has already taken action against the concerned police outpost officials.”

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