Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday flagged off a cycle march of the party MLAs against the Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register from the party office to the state assembly. Akhilesh Yadav has issued a statement mirroring Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's statement where she openly backed rioters a day after UP Deputy CM Dinesh Sharma earlier said that there is a competition between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party going on in the state "for solidifying their minority base."
Akhilesh Yadav said, "Whatever has happened, everyone knows the truth. SP has been telling it since the first day that the people who died were innocents. They were protesting peacefully. They have died because of the firing by police. UP Chief Minister is doing all this just to save his face. He can do anything to save himself."
Earlier on Sunday, Akhilesh Yadav in a similar remark had accused Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath of trying to save his chair by doing "injustice" to Muslims in the garb of action taken against people protesting the contentious citizenship act (CAA) and the NRC.
His statement came in the backdrop of UP DGP OP Singh writing to the Ministry of Home Affairs requesting a ban on Popular Front of India (PFI) after a probe conducted by the Uttar Pradesh Police found PFI's involvement in the violent protests against the CAA and NRC that took place on December 19. PFI, an organisation based in Delhi, was founded on November 22, 2006. Protests which marred the state earlier this month saw people expressing their dissent against the newly-amended citizenship law and seeking its withdrawal.
Various police personnel and protesters clashed during the agitation across the state. The state government had also imposed prohibitory orders to avert any untoward incident. Pursuant to the widespread protests, the Uttar Pradesh Police had arrested three members of PFI including its state president Waseem Ahmad.
Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya on Tuesday said, “It was especially the Popular Front of India that was behind all the damage done to property, arson and anarchy in the state. Such organisations will not be allowed to flourish here; they will be banned.”
(with ANI inputs)