The Uttar Pradesh Police on Monday sealed a road near the Samajwadi Party office here and placed barricades on it ahead of Akhilesh Yadav’s visit to Kannauj for a ‘Kisan Yatra’, with the party terming the administration’s move as “undemocratic”.
“Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav was to visit Kannauj for a programme, but the Kannauj district magistrate did not give permission for it. Hence, the portion of the Vikramaditya Marg leading to the SP office has been sealed,” Station House Officer (SHO), Gautampalli, Chandrashekhar Singh said.
Mr. Yadav, a former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, was slated to travel to Kannauj, around 125 km from the Uttar Pradesh capital, for a tractor rally as part of the ‘Kisan Yatra’ in support of farmers protesting against the Centre’s new agri laws and the ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by them on Tuesday. The 13-km yatra was planned from Thathia to Tirwa.
“This is an undemocratic move by the state government,” SP national spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said reacting to the sealing of the road leading to the party’s office here.
“The government is feeling afraid that Akhilesh Yadav is going to participate in the ‘Kisan Yatra.’ Peaceful demonstration is the democratic right of every individual, and the government is adamant on violating it,” he said.
SP MLC Rajpal Kashyap along with other party leaders staged a protest against the administration’s move, but were removed by police.
Mr. Chaudhary also claimed that the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh is stopping SP workers in every district of the state from holding rallies in support of farmers.
To a question as to whether Mr. Yadav will go to Kannauj despite the restrictions, he did not give any clear answer.
In a tweet, the SP said, “The BJP government is afraid of the ‘Kisan Yatras’, which are being held against the injustice done to farmers and the anti-farmer laws. Hence, to stop the yatras, it has unleashed atrocities on ‘samajwadis’ The police are calling SP workers to police stations and also going to their houses to stop them.”
“This is highly condemnable. Farmers and youths will give an answer to the government,” it said.
On Sunday, the SP had said that it will organise farmer rallies in all districts of Uttar Pradesh from December 7, beginning with Kannauj. The SP is among the several political parties, including the Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party and the BSP, that are supporting the nationwide strike called by farmers.
“Under the BJP’s rule, farmers have faced injustice. The BJP is selling of ‘mandis’ and the farmers are not even getting a minimum support price for paddy. The prices of fertilisers and pesticides have gone up. The BJP government has shown an insensitive attitude towards farmers,” the SP said in the statement on Sunday.