Breaking his silence on the Moradabad incident when Samajwadi Party (SP) workers attacked reporters in his presence, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav claimed that the 'attack was done by the press at someone's behest'. Defending his workers' action, Yadav claimed a conspiracy was afoot to trap him and his workers in the lift. Lashing out at the media, he claimed that the press was 'attacking Samajwadis and that such attacks will continue till elections'.
"Did a normal attack happen on us in Moradabad? First, they cut off supply to the lift - that did not become news. Who shut off the lift supply trapping us inside? And what the press did, on whose direction did they do that? These attacks will not stop till elections are over. Samajwadis must be ready to face such attacks," he said, while addressing a rally in Rampur.
On Monday, Samajwadi Party (SP) workers attacked reporters in the presence of party chief Akhilesh Yadav. The video from the incident shows how Akhilesh Yadav's security personnel, along with SP workers, heckled media persons in full public view at Hotel Holiday Regency while the former UP CM watched on. In multiple videos of the attack doing rounds, SP workers can be seen heckling a reporter who attempted to pose questions to Akhilesh Yadav following which the reporter falls to the ground. SP workers, sporting red caps, can be seen pushing media persons following which Akhilesh Yadav is heard telling the media that the reporter was working for a 'BJP's channel'.
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Slamming the incident, BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi called out SP's hooliganism, quoting CM Yogi Adityanath's words. Highlighting how SP workers were manhandling the media in the party chief's presence, he said that the party should 'drown in shame'. Similarly, UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu called SP's assault on media persons as an insult to 'Lohiya's Samajwadi' while condemning the attack.
As of date, several fronts have cropped up to challenge the ruling BJP. While Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj is eyeing an alliance with AIMIM, Azad Samaj Party, Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party, AAP, Shiv Sena, and JDU have announced that they will be contesting for the UP polls. Samajwadi Party and BSP have decided to not ally and shut their doors to Congres, opting to ally with smaller parties if needed or go solo. Since then, Congress has aggressively campaigned under the leadership of Priyanka Gandhi in the state, eyeing its solo return. In 2017, amid tumultuous family fights in the Yadav family - with Akhilesh throwing out uncle Shivpal and replacing Mulayam Singh Yadav as the party chief, the then-UP CM stitched an alliance with Congress - with Akhilesh and Rahul Gandhi holding joint rallies. This poll-alliance failed miserably, winning only 55 seats, while the BJP won 312 seats - ushering in Yogi Adityanath's maiden term.