On Wednesday, Modi reminded Akhilesh Yadav of an attempt to kill his father 33 years ago, allegedly at the behest of the Congress. The Congress was then in power in UP, and Mulayam, a leader of Charan Singh’s Bharatiya Lok Dal, was Leader of Opposition in the Vidhan Parishad. This is how Jansatta, Hindi daily of The Indian Express Group, reported the incident in its edition of March 8, 1984.
An attempt was made on the life Mulayam Singh Yadav, the Uttar Pradesh president of the Loktantrik Morcha and Leader of Opposition in the Vidhan Parishad, day before yesterday night. A man named Chhotelal, who was riding a motorcycle ahead of his car, was killed on the spot, and another youth, named Netrapal, was seriously wounded. The incident happened as Mr Yadav was making his way back to Etawah from Mahikheda village in the Kurra police station area of Mainpuri district.
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Mr Yadav told reporters that he had been on a tour of Etawah district since March 2, participating in a series of public meetings. Around 5 pm on March 4, he had addressed a meeting at Jhingpur village on the border of Etawah and Mainpuri, after which he had gone to meet a friend in Mahikheda village in mouza Soz. He started from there for Mainpuri at 9.30 pm, and had travelled about 4-5 furlongs [800 m to a kilometre] when he heard shots in front of his car. In the headlights, Mr Yadav’s driver saw people tumble from the motorcycles they were riding ahead of the car, and immediately afterward, Mr Yadav’s vehicle itself came under fire. Policemen accompanying Mr Yadav returned fire, and the exchange continued for about half an hour. After the attackers’ weapons finally fell silent, police threw a security cordon around Mr Yadav and took him in a jeep safely to Kurra police station 5 km away.
Chhotelal, who died after being hit by the attackers’ bullets, was a primary school teacher who was travelling with Mr Yadav. Netrapal has been admitted to hospital in a serious condition. Mr Yadav has heaped fulsome praise on the policemen deputed to protect him.
The marks of 9 bullets are clearly visible on Mr Yadav’s car. The shots were aimed at the side of the car that Mr Yadav frequently occupies.
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Without taking any names, Mr Yadav said the incident was a well-planned conspiracy to murder him. “I was saved by God’s grace,” he said. “I had been told some time ago that there would be an attack on me. But I did not believe the warning.” Mr Yadav appeared restless during his interaction with reporters.
Nathu Singh Yadav, the former MLA from Karhal who was present at Mr Yadav’s meeting with reporters, said Lok Dal workers in Etawah and Mainpuri were living under constant threat.
Accusing supporters of Rural Development Minister Balram Singh Yadav of executing the attack, Maharaj Singh Yadav, president of Etawah district Lok Dal, has alleged that the leaders of the ruling Congress (I) now wanted to carry out their politics with the help of criminals.
Translated from the Hindi; report titled ‘Aise hua tha Mulayam Singh Yadav par hamla (This is how Mulayam Singh Yadav was attacked)’, dateline Etawah, March 7, 1984