A war of words erupted between Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav after the latter was allegedly stopped at Lucknow airport on Tuesday from boarding a flight to Prayagraj (Allahabad), while on his way to attend an event at Allahabad University (AU). While Adityanath said that his participation could trigger violence, Akhilesh responded by saying that it was “a cover to hide nervousness” of the state government under BJP.
Akhilesh was stopped following a letter sent by the District Magistrate (DM) and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Prayagraj to DM and SSP of Lucknow stating the University’s advisory committee’s decision of not inviting any political personality at the event.
Speaking to reporters, Adityanath said Yadav’s visit could have triggered violence between rival student groups at the Allahabad University. “The Allahabad University had urged the government to stop his visit and the government acted,” he said.
Akhilesh tweeted, “I was prevented from boarding the airplane without any written orders. Currently detained at Lucknow airport. It is clear how frightened the govt is by the oath ceremony of a student leader. The BJP knows that youth of our great country will not tolerate this injustice anymore!”
बिना किसी लिखित आदेश के मुझे एयरपोर्ट पर रोका गया। पूछने पर भी स्थिति साफ करने में अधिकारी विफल रहे। छात्र संघ कार्यक्रम में जाने से रोकना का एक मात्र मकसद युवाओं के बीच समाजवादी विचारों और आवाज को दबाना है। pic.twitter.com/151IwzPl1t
— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) February 12, 2019
Akhilesh was invited to be the chief guest at the event by members of the Allahabad University Students’ Union (AUSU). A letter was sent to Yadav’s private secretary Gangaram by the Vice-Chancellor of AU in this regard. Meanwhile, chief minister Yogi Adityanath said “The Allahabad University had urged the government to stop his visit and the government acted.
“Responding to the incident, Mayawati tweeted said the step was an example of the BJP government’s dictatorship and anti-democratic. “If there was a genuine problem, the police there would have objected, or asked for a change in my schedule. I understand the need to ensure the safety of people and property and would never do something to endanger either knowingly,” Akhilesh added.
Extremely condemnable that Samajwadi Party President and former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was stopped at Lucknow airport today in order to prevent him from attending programme in Allahabad. This is anti-democratic and an example of total dictatorship of BJP government.
— Mayawati (@SushriMayawati) February 12, 2019
“I stand with the youth of Uttar Pradesh and this country, and they stand with me. Today, I ask everyone to come forward and join hands not to win an election but to defeat, and forever stand vigilant against, an ideology that threatens to unravel the beautiful tapestry of our country,” he added.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, reacting to the developments, said, “Jignesh was also stopped from attending a University event in Gujarat. He was threatened by BJP goons and they preach to us. They indulge in hate politics. Never before was this ever done in our nation. It’s unfortunate, I condemn this.”