Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said that the party wants to defend the Constitution while the ruling BJP wants to abolish it and that he will not fill the form for the National Population Register. "Samajwadis want to save the Constitution while the BJP wants to abolish it. Much of the pretense is done to divert attention. Do young people want jobs or NPR? The BJP will not decide whether I am an Indian or not. If need be, I will not fill the form." Yadav was addressing a party conclave in Lucknow on Sunday.
The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister also assured that cases filed against protesters part of the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act agitation will be withdrawn if the SP is voted back to power. Taking a jibe at CM Yogi Adityanath, Akhilesh said, "Samajwadis are not afraid of FIRs. When the CM himself withdraws cases against him, then I assure you that all cases against you (protesters) will be withdrawn once SP forms the government."
Akhilesh also vowed to investigate alleged police brutality during the course of the anti-CAA agitation if the SP wins power. “Officers who have unleashed atrocities on the people and whose video footage is available will have to face inquiry when we return to power. We demand a judicial probe into the protests so that the truth can come out,” he said. He added that after the demonetisation of 2016, the biggest ban was the internet ban during recent protests.
Akhilesh Yadav alleged that the CAA and NRC were being done to divert public attention from pressing economic issues of the day. "During demonetisation, the government had said corruption will end, but that proved to be untrue. Due to demonetisation, a number of banks closed down, while the GST (Goods and Services Tax) ruined businesses. The condition is such that the country's economy has come out of the ICU and gone to the ICCU," Yadav said. He also took a jibe at BJP's saniation program saying the previous SP government in UP gave laptops to youngsters while BJP is "is taking them towards toilets".
(With inputs from agencies)