Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath (Photo Credit: Twitter: CMO )
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday sparked a massive controversy with his remarks on Anti-Citizenship act protests. While addressing the state assembly on anti- CAA protests and the deaths which followed in December, Yogi Adityanath said, "Agar koi marne ke liye aa hi raha hai to woh zinda kahan se ho jaayega (If someone is coming with an intent to die, then how will the person remain alive?)."
"No one has died from police bullets. All those who died have died of bullets from rioters. If someone goes to the street with the intent to shoot people, then either he dies or a cop dies," the Chief Minister added.
The state of Uttar Pradesh has witnessed a series of events when violence broke out on the streets in the name of Anti-CAA protests. There have been continuous protests in Lucknow, Kanpur and Prayagraj against the law that fast-tracks the process of giving citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim minorities from three neighbouring countries.
Yogi Adityanath, in his hour-long speech launched a scathing attack against those who raised 'Azaadi’ slogans during the protest. "Azaadi slogans are being raised. What 'freedom'? Do we have to work towards Jinnah's dream or do we have to work towards Gandhi's dream?"
During his speech, Adityanath also praised UP Police for their work after the violence. "The police should be praised for their work after the December violence. There were no riots in the state," UP CM said.
"I have always said we will support any democratic protest. But if someone hides behind democracy to vitiate the atmosphere, if there is violence, we will reply to them in their language," he further added claiming that his government was not against protestors but would come down heavily against those indulging in violence.
Earlier, the opposition parties had slammed Yogi Adityanath for warning anti-CAA protesters that “azadi” slogans raised by them will treated as sedition. While the Samajwadi Party drew an analogy with the British rule, the Congress termed it “a language of dictators”.
The UP CM in a rally in Kanpur on Wednesday had said,"If azadi slogans are raised here like they used to be raised in Kashmir, then it will come in the category of sedition and stringent action will be taken by the government."
Reacting to it, Senior SP leader Ram Govind Chaudhary said the British too “had described freedom fighters as terrorists”. “Now their successors or those who had sided with them are terming those raising azadi slogans traitors,” he said. He said there was no need to to get “perturbed” by such warnings. “Their countdown has started and that is why they are ranting,” Chaudhary said.
The SP leader alleged that the CM was threatening women against those hell bent on dividing the country. “Azadi is the birthright of all countrymen and those denying it will have to depart in the same manner as Hitler,” the SP leader said. SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary too said the dissent against the CAA is being dubbed as treason by the chief minister, which is against the very essence of a democracy.
“The CM is threatening women who are demanding their rights,” Chaudhary asserted. When asked about the chief minister’s allegation that the SP was funding anti-CAA protests, Chaudhary said, "This amounts to making a mockery of people's emotions."
“Protests are on in all the states, including north-eastern region. Are we distributing money in all states," Chaudhary wondered. Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu said the CM is speaking "a language of dictators".
"If raising voice against the government’s oppression and politics of hatred is treason, the government should first arrest me," Lallu said, adding that since the protests have rattled the government, it is accusing the Congress of sponsoring them.
"If people are on agitation path over this issue, why is the government not addressing it," Lallu said.
At a public meeting in Kanpur, the chief minister had said, "...I would like to say from the soil of India, and especially the soil of Uttar Pradesh, that in the name of protests, if azadi slogans are raised here like they used to be raised in Kashmir, then it will come in the category of sedition, and stringent action will be taken by the government.
(With Agency Inputs)