Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on 4 October virtually launched the BJP’s campaign for the 3 November by-polls by accusing the opposition of attempting to spark caste and communal riots in UP for political gains.
Yogi, without apparently referring to the opposition build-up against his government over the Hathras shocker, said the opposition wanted to derail the state from the development agenda. “They (opposition) keep hatching new conspiracies every day and are attempting to spark caste and communal riots in Uttar Pradesh. We have to ensure that we remain watchful so that we could ensure the state’s development,” he said while addressing a virtual meeting of BJP cadres in Naugawan Sadat assembly constituency in Amroha, which is among the seven assembly segments due for the 3 November by-election.
Naugawan Sadat seat was represented by BJP MLA and minister Chetan Chauhan, who died due to COVID-19 induced complications. Adityanath would be holding such virtual connect campaigns with the cadre in rest of the bypoll-bound assembly segments.
“Even amid the pandemic, the state (government) under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi did outstanding work. However, some people, who are least bothered about development, are hatching conspiracies on a daily basis. The need is to expose them,” said Adityanath. He told the cadres that due to COVID, the by-polls would be markedly different. “There won’t be any big political rallies and there would be full focus on booth management and door-to-door campaign by small groups,” said the chief minister.
He tasked the cadres for connecting with the masses and making them aware of the changes that the country has witnessed since 2014 when Narendra Modi government came to power at the centre.
The chief minister has been speaking out amid the Opposition’s protest against the government’s handling of the Hathras incident in which a 19-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly gang-raped and killed. All the accused in the case belong to upper caste. The government on Saturday ordered a CBI probe after widespread outrage and criticism.
“In a state where every job used to be given on the basis of caste, we have given more than 3 lakh jobs in three years… We have a roadmap for proving 3 lakh more government jobs in the coming year or so. We have worked for 20 lakh youths to get private jobs… But how can those people who are against the country and society would accept this? They wanted a weak Uttar Pradesh, full of riots and lawlessness. Now, as their intentions are not bearing fruition, they are conspiring. I want to tell you that this is a BJP government. We will ensure security and respect to everyone. This is our promise. But, if someone tries to ruin the atmosphere of the state, then we will deal with them strictly,” Adityanath told party workers and leaders during a video-conference while reviewing campaigning for the upcoming Assembly bypoll in Tundla, a reserved constituency.
Yogi govt makes conspiracy argument in Supreme Court too
The Hathras victim was cremated in the middle of the night “to avoid large-scale violence” the next morning, the Uttar Pradesh government told the Supreme Court today citing intelligence inputs of “major law and order problems”.
In an affidavit to the Supreme Court, the Uttar Pradesh government also justified the 2.30 AM cremation saying there was a high alert in the district because of the Babri mosque verdict a day later.
“The district administration at Hathras had been receiving several intelligence inputs since the morning of 29 September on the manner in which the dharna had taken place at Safdarjung hospital and the whole issue was being exploited and a caste/communal colour was being given,” said the state government.
The state said it had received specific inputs that lakhs of protesters “of both communities/castes” along with supporters of political parties and the media would assemble the next morning at the village, “which is likely to turn violent and will lead to major law and order problems.”
There was also an alert because of the Babri mosque verdict and coronavirus safety rules, said the affidavit.
“In such extraordinary and severe circumstances, the district administration took the decision to convince the parents of the deceased to cremate her with all religious rites at night to avoid large scale violence in the morning to cremate the body of the victim that was lying for almost more than 20 hours after her death and post-mortem,” said the Uttar Pradesh government.
The state government told the court that once the post-mortem had been done, “there cannot be any bad intention” to speed up the cremation “except to obviate the potential violent situation resulting from the planned caste divide by certain vested interests”.