UP: High-voltage drama as Akhilesh Yadav's 'padayatra' to Assembly halted
In what can clearly be called the season of padayatras, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav held a mega foot march to the State Assembly on Monday. The Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo aimed to reach the Assembly with over 100 legislators of the party but was halted outside the gates, reported NDTV. The padayatra has triggered a high-voltage political drama in the state.
Why does this story matter?
After Aam Aadmi Party and Congress, the SP is the third party to hold a padayatra against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in recent months. To recall, the SP lost to the BJP in the 2022 UP Assembly elections. Yadav has been attacking the state government over unemployment, price rise, and deteriorating law and order situation in light of the Lakhimpur Kheri rape-murder case.
'Padayatra' halted, Yadav holds sit-in protest
Videos on social media showed that high-voltage political drama erupted in Lucknow on Monday morning as Yadav and Samajwadi Party MLAs and MLCs were stopped by cops on their way to the Assembly on the first day of the monsoon session. Following this, the SP chief and Leader of the Opposition held a sit-in dharna on the road, raising slogans against the police action.
Watch: SP's 'dharna' outside UP Assembly
Here's more about SP's protest march
Hitting out at UP CM Yogi Adityanath and the BJP, the SP alleged the saffron party was killing democracy. "It is shameful to stop Akhilesh Yadav from entering the Assembly," it said. Yadav, meanwhile, protested with a poster that read, "Rising prices have created an outcry, but the UP government is selling lies." The party reportedly started its march from its office in Hazratganj.
No permission for protest, says police
According to the police, the SP didn't take prior permission to take out the march. However, they were reportedly assigned a designated route that would not cause traffic congestion, but the party "refused to take that." Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Piyush Mordia said, "We've no option but to stop them... If they take the designated route, there won't be a problem."
Take a look at what the UP CM said
SP's show for cameras, jibes BJP
Speaking to ANI, Deputy CM KP Maurya said the SP was not protesting for people's benefit but for their own. Terming it a photo opportunity, he said, "Our government is ready for discussions. [The SP] is jobless now, they've nothing to do. Such protests will only create problems for people." CM Adityanath also said it wasn't "legitimate" to expect the SP to follow rules.