Akhilesh 'stopped' at airport on way to Allahabad, incident triggers uproar in UP legislature

CM says SP chief’s visit could have triggered violence, former CM sees state’s ‘nervousness’ behind move
Report by: 
Agencies
Lucknow
12 Feb 2019

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav today claimed he was stopped by authorities at Lucknow airport in a bid to prevent him from visiting Allahabad, triggering outrage by party lawmakers in the state legislature and workers outside the airport.
The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said he was to fly to Allahabad from Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport to attend an event at Allahabad University. "The government is afraid of oath-taking ceremony of a student leader and is stopping me at the airport to prevent me from visiting Allahabad," Akhilesh claimed on Twitter. He posted photographs in which he was seen talking to police officers inside the airport. But the airport director A K Sharma said: "I have no such information." The issue rocked the Uttar Pradesh legislature. As soon as Samajwadi Party members came to know about their national president being stopped at the airport, they raised 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, prompting Speaker Hriday Narain Dixit to adjourn proceedings for 20 minutes. It was later extended for the entire Question Hour. When the House reassembled, agitated SP members again rushed to the Well and sat on a dharna, shouting slogans against the Yogi Adityanath-led government. "Yogi teri tanashahi nahi chalegi (Yogi government's anarchy will not be tolerated)," they shouted. BSP leader Lalji Verma also supported the SP members, saying "there is an anarchic government in the state which wants to suppress the voice of Opposition."
Responding to the issue, parliamentary affairs minister Suresh Kumar Khanna said; "I have sought a report on this incident". "The SP leader had to attend a programme in Prayagraj. The district magistrate informed him to not visit Prayagraj as it could create law and order problems." Khanna said Yadav was informed about it on Monday, a day before his scheduled visit. "Law and order is our top priority and we will maintain it at any cost and whatever step is needed for this, we will do... He (Yadav) should abide by law. It is his responsibility. He should not have dishonoured the DM's orders," he said. As the matter refused to die, the Chair adjourned the House for the day at 12.50 pm. Chief minister Yogi Adityanath later told newspersons that Yadav's visit could have triggered violence between rival student groups at the university.
Describing Adityanath's comments that his Allahabad visit could have triggered violence as "a cover to hide nervousness", Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav today said that stopping him shows how "scared" the government is. "I was stopped from boarding a flight to Allahabad to attend a students' union programme. I haven't been given a reason why but it seems the general impression was that I would create a law and order problem. Chief minister has given a statement to this effect but they are using this as a cover to hide their nervousness because our youth have had enough," Akhilesh said.
"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," he added. (PTI)