Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi on Monday launched a scathing attack on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, saying there is no place for violence or “revenge” in the country. Sharpening her attack on the chief minister, she said, “He is wearing the dress (vastra) of an Yogi. He is wearing saffron clothes. This bhagwa (saffron) is not yours, it belongs to ‘dhaarmik’ (religious), ‘aadhyaatmik’ (spiritual) tradition of Hindustan. It is a symbol of the Hindu religion. Uss dharma ko dhaaran kariye (imbibe that religion). In that religion, there is no place for anger, violence and revenge. This is all I have to say.”
On her 'saffron' remark, UP CM Yogi Adityanath's office took to Twitter and wrote, "Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has worn saffron for public service. Abandon everything. They not only wear saffron, but also represent it. The saffron dress is for public welfare and nation building and Yogi ji is a wanderer on that path."
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Addressing a press conference, the Congress general secretary took a dig at Adityanath’s earlier warning that rioters damaging public property will have to pay and said the saffron denotes Hinduism, a religion that does not advocate violence or “revenge”. Concluding her four-day visit to Lucknow days after statewide violent clashes over the Citizenship Amendment Act, she told mediapersons that her own security was not a big issue.
“The question of my security is not a big one. It is a small question on which there is no need to hold any discussion. I will not raise the issue of security because it is a trivial matter. It has nothing to do with the public,” she said, in an apparent reference to her alleged manhandling by the state police. “The issue is the safety of common man in UP,” she asserted.
“This is the country of Lord Krishna - who was the symbol of compassion. Lord Ram was symbol of compassion. Everybody dances in the marriage procession (baraat) of Lord Shiva. There is no place for ‘hinsaa’ (violence), ‘badlaa’ (revenge) and ‘ranj’ (anger) in the country’s soul.
“When Shrikrishna gave sermon to Arjun during the Mahabharat war, he did not talk about revenge or anger to the great warrior on the battlefield. He only brought out the feelings of compassion and truth,” she said.
Sharpening her attack on the chief minister, she said, “He is wearing the dress (vastra) of an Yogi. He is wearing saffron clothes. This bhagwa (saffron) is not yours, it belongs to ‘dhaarmik’ (religious), ‘aadhyaatmik’ (spiritual) tradition of Hindustan. It is a symbol of the Hindu religion. Uss dharma ko dhaaran kariye (imbibe that religion). In that religion, there is no place for anger, violence and revenge. This is all I have to say.”
Releasing copies of a 14-page memorandum submitted to Governor Anandiben Patel, she said there are ample proof in the document on how the police and the administration indulged in wrong doing and vandalism. The memorandum claimed a total of 23 death occurred in the state in the alleged police excesses during the anti-CAA protests by people, while the UP government claims 19 deaths in clashes.
There is also a video of police vandalism, police beating up a minor in Kanpur, she said, referring to the contents of memorandum. “There were numerous examples through which it could be seen that the police and administration acted on the chief minister’s statement that he will take revenge.
“I think it has happened for the first time in the history that a CM has given such a statement that revenge will be taken from the public,” she said. The properties which have been confiscated and notices served, also include that of ex-IPS officer S R Darapuri. He probably had used the earnings of his lifetime for his house, and he has got a notice, because he had uploaded a Facebook post.
Quoting from the memorandum, the Congress leader said the conduct of the UP police has been “patently unlawful, destructive of the rule of law and repressive of honest citizens”. “This is unbefitting of a force that is duty-bound to safeguard and protect the citizens’ rights,” the memorandum said.