Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday accused Congress leader Rahul Gandhi of being sympathetic towards “anti-national elements”.
Referring to Mr Gandhi’s meeting a day before with the wife of Siddique Kappan, the Kerala journalist who was arrested by Uttar Pradesh Police while on his way to Hathras, Mr Adityanath said, “He (Rahul Gandhi) openly meets members of the Popular Front of India (PFI). This clearly reflects his mentality towards anti-national elements”.
He further alleged, “This is the same PFI which has plans to instigate a series of riots in the country, and those doing politics in the name of religion are trying to disturb the country’s communal harmony”.
The Popular Front of India (PFI), an alleged radical group, has been accused of funding certain protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that took place across the country earlier this year. The Uttar Pradesh police had earlier sought a ban on the organization.
Mr Kappan’s wife Raihanath had on Wednesday met Gandhi, an MP from Wayanad in Kerala, to hand over a memorandum seeking justice for her husband.
Amidst the opposition’s attacks on the deteriorating law and order situation in the state, the chief minister claimed that during his tenure since 2017 strict measures have been taken to remove the mafias and prevalence of hooliganism.
“The mafia which was being harboured by the opposition parties, now they are on the run begging for their lives. Due to strict measures and resolve of the government, mafia and hooliganism have become a thing of the past in the state,”” he said, according to an official press release.
Mr Adityanath made the remarks while addressing public meetings for the upcoming bypolls in the state’s assembly constituencies of Bulandshahr, Amroha and Tundla, as per the release.
The CM claimed the Western part of the state has been freed from the hold of mafia elements and goons. “Their properties are being razed and they have no place left to hide,” he said.
Mr Adityanath also asserted that the state government was continuously working towards transforming Uttar Pradesh into “Uttam Pradesh” for the past three years.
He said not only the dues of sugarcane farmers are being cleared but the sugar mills that were shut down during the rule of previous governments are now operating with full capacity and productivity.
The CM also recalled former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh as “the true crusader of farmers” rights and wellbeing”.
“Now, the leaders are only doing lip-service in the name of farmers in order to garner their votes,” he said.
He also called upon the people to give a “befitting reply” to those who based their politics on caste and religion.
Castigating the opposition, he said it was their narrative that had led to the Muzaffarnagar riots in 2013, the “exodus” of businessmen and traders from Kandhla and Kairana and the killings of innocent youths.
Accusing the opposition of playing communal politics, the CM also said they were against the Kanwar Yatra and were raising the bogey of communal disharmony .
“Now, under BJP rule, the Kanwar Yatra is taken out and flowers are showered on the Kanwarias,” he pointed out.
He also said the person who donated his property for Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has been totally neglected and the BJP government will set up a university in Aligarh named after Maharaja Mahendra Singh.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)