Lucknow: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday accused Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath of getting his telephones tapped and listening to the conversations every evening.
Interacting with reporters a day after some SP leaders’ offices and residences were raided by the Income Tax Department, Yadav claimed the BJP was wary of its impending defeat in the upcoming assembly polls.
The BJP government would be increasingly misusing various enforcement agencies to persecute his party’s leaders in the coming days, he alleged.
“All our telephonic conversations have been heard. This ‘anupyogi’ chief minister himself listens to the recordings of some people every evening,” the Samajwadi Party chief alleged.
He also asked reporters to “remain alert, if you are speaking to me”. The Yogi Adityanath government is running a WhatsApp University in the state, Yadav said derisively.
The entire country knows that whenever the BJP is about to lose an election in any state, the “frequency of the misuse” of various enforcement agencies by the BJP rises, the former chief minister claimed.
“The BJP is following the Congress’ way. Like the Congress, it is rearing to use the central agencies to instil fear (in rival political parties),” Yadav said.
Meanwhile, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, when asked about the IT department raids against Samajwadi Party leaders, said, “I cannot comment on this, but the government misuses the agencies. But, this was in my own case.”
“This is the government’s way to harass the opposition leaders. They use agencies to do so. It’s nothing new, we are seeing this for the past seven years.”
About the phone tapping allegation, she said, “What is the job of a government? To listen to the problems of the public, understand them and stop atrocities. Instead, this government is tapping phones of the opposition.”
According to SP sources, the IT department searches were conducted on Saturday at the residences of party spokesperson Rajiv Rai in Mau, Jainendra Yadav, who was the OSD when Akhilesh Yadav was the chief minister, in Vinay Khand at Gomti Nagar in Lucknow, businessman Rahul Bhasin in Lucknow and of contractor Manoj Yadav in Mainpuri.
IT officials did not comment on the searches.
SP spokesperson Rajiv Rai has alleged that the searches were “politically motivated”.
Yadav said, “Seeing the atmosphere in the state, I can say the Yogi government will not last. People have made up their minds for a ‘yogya’ (able) government. No government could be more ‘unupyogi’ (useless) than this. It has ruined Uttar Pradesh.”
He also claimed the recent visits of chief ministers and deputy chief ministers of the 12 BJP-ruled states to various places in Uttar Pradesh, including Varanasi and Ayodhya, was due to the saffron party’s “fear of an impending defeat in the upcoming assembly elections”.
“The BJP has become apprehensive of its impending defeat in the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls. This is the reason behind the increasing number of visits of their leaders from Delhi and chief ministers to this state,” he said.
“When these leaders come, the Income Tax, Enforcement Directorate, CBI and other departments too will attack us. But it is being seen for the first time that these organisations have begun working to ensure that the SP is not able to form its government in the state,” Yadav alleged.
He also promised to get a caste-based census conducted if his party is voted to power in Uttar Pradesh.
On Akhilesh Yadav’s “unupyogi” remark, BJP state president Swatantra Dev Singh asked how can lodging Azam Khan and Mukhtar Ansari in jail and running bulldozer on Atiq Ahmad’s illegal property be “unupyogi”.
He asked people to vote in the name of (Narendra) Modi and Yogi (Adityanath) and advised them not to take caste, religion, region or money power into consideration while exercising their franchise.
About Yadav’s assertion that the BJP is “wary of its impending defeat” in the upcoming polls, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan expressed confidence that the saffron party will win more than 300 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh.
“The BJP is going to win over 300 seats in assembly polls. The figure could reach even 400 (of the total 403 seats),” Chauhan said.
Seeking to corner the BJP over the alleged involvement of the son of Union Home Minister of State for Home Ajay Misra ‘Teni’ in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, Yadav said, “Don’t the Centre and state government know the allegations levelled against ‘Teni’?”
“Whenever fingers are raised at ‘Teni’, the government tries to shield him. Four farmers and a journalist lost their lives in the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri,” he said.
Violence had erupted in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3 when farmers were protesting the visit of Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya to Misra’s native place. Four farmers were run over by a vehicle while four others, including a journalist and two BJP workers, were killed in the violence that ensued.
The Union minister’s son has been arrested in the case.
The SP supremo also accused Adityanath of posting district magistrates and superintendents of police of his own caste in districts where parliamentary or assembly polls are due to ensure victory of BJP candidates.
“When the (2019 Lok Sabha) elections were taking place, what was the caste of the superintendent of police of Kannauj, of a senior police official in Kanpur and the DGP of UP,” Yadav asked, insinuating that Yogi posts Rajput officials in poll-bound districts.