New Delhi: Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav hit out at the BJP government led by Yogi Adityanath, accusing them of persecuting farmers and encouraging lawlessness in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the assembly elections scheduled in February. They would receive an answer from farmers in the upcoming polls, he claimed.
Highlighting crimes under Yogi Adityanath's term in the state, he mentioned the Hathras rape case and the businessman killed by the police in Gorakhpur in an interview to NDTV. Yadav accused the BJP government of cracking down on farmers and filing cases against thousands of youths in Prayagraj when they protested for jobs.
"Did anyone imagine that farmers would one day be mowed down with jeeps?" he opened with an attack on the BJP when asked about the law-and-order issues during his previous term governing the state.
During the interview, Yadav also directly criticised Chief Minister Adityanath, accusing him of being the only CM to have withdrawn criminal cases against himself and his deputy under his reign. He also accused the BJP of having filed false "political" cases against members of his own party.
"The farmers here are taking this election as one of their self-respect and pride. It's also an election to further the legacy of former prime minister and farmer leader Chaudhary Charan Singh," he said, with ally Jayant Chaudhary by his side. The former PM was the grandfather of the young RLD chief.
"BJP insulted farmers here, lathi-charged them. Many were killed. BJP leaders were calling them terrorists and goons," Akhilesh Yadav said, claiming the Centre's response to the massive farmers' agitation has angered them. Even students were not spared from the persecution of the government and many have been booked under the National Security Act, he claimed.
He also raised the issue of police violence against Railway Recruitment aspirants who were lathicharged by police while protesting the lack of communication over a second exam allotment. Videos on social media allegedly show Prayagraj police charging hostels and breaking down windows to get at the students inside, following violent student protests which attempted to block a train.
The Samajwadi Party supremo said that if voted to power, they would seek suggestions from aware citizens and experts on law and order to improve the situation in the state.