Facing flak over the brazen killing of a prime witness in the 2005 case of a BSP MLA’s murder, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday accused the Samajwadi Party of nurturing mafias and vowed to destroy them.
“The mafia whose name is emerging … is it not true that the Samajwadi Party had made him an MP… He was a mafia nurtured by the SP. Our government is working to break their back. ‘Mitti me mila denge’ (We will destroy the mafias),” Adityanath said in the Assembly.
He was speaking after Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav sought to corner him over the killing and raised questions over the law and order situation, while the opposition and treasury benches traded charges.
“They (SP) are the mentors of criminals, and they have been doing it continuously. Crime flows in their veins. They have learnt nothing except crime. The entire state knows about this, and today they are giving justification,” said a visibly agitated chief minister, who spoke for more than two hours in the Assembly while replying to the debate on the motion of thanks to the governor’s address.
He alleged that the SP was not just nurturing mafias but making them MPs and MLAs.
Chief Minister Adityanath has frequently stressed that reining in mafias and improving the law and order situation had been one of the major achievements of his government since the BJP came to power in the state in 2017.
Umesh Pal, the prime witness in the 2005 murder of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Raju Pal, was shot dead outside his residence in Prayagraj on Friday, the police said. One of his gunners, who too was hit in the firing, died later.
An FIR was registered on Saturday against several people, including former MP Atiq Ahmed. The mafia-turned-politician is currently lodged in a Gujarat jail. Atiq was an SP MP from Phulpur parliamentary constituency (in Prayagraj).
When the House assembled for the chief minister’s reply to the debate on the Governor’s address at 11 am, the SP tried to raise the issue of Pal’s killing with chief whip Manoj Kumar Pandey demanding a discussion.
“The way in which a witness and a security personnel have been shot dead in Prayagraj, what is the double-engine government doing?” Leader of Opposition Akhilesh Yadav said.
He said that had the injured had got timely treatment, their lives would have been saved.
Speaker of UP Legislative Assembly Satish Mahana said no notice has been received for discussion, and it was decided in advance that the Leader of the House (CM) will speak on the motion of thanks.
Speaking on the killing, Adityanath said, “I would assure the House that action has been taken under the zero-tolerance policy. Its result will be out soon.” “The mafia leader who had perpetrated this act yesterday is out of Uttar Pradesh, and became MLA and MP because of the assistance of the Samajwadi Party.
“Is it not true that in 1996, that mafia leader became an MLA from Allahabad West seat? In 2004, these people made him the Lok Sabha MP. Our government will finish them off,” he said.
Chief Minister Adityanath also attacked the Samajwadi Party over the Ramcharitmanas row and alleged that it has insulted crores of Hindus living in India and abroad by burning this sacred text.
“The office of the Samajwadi Party is running a campaign against ‘Sant Tulsidas’ jee. It (SP office) is making efforts to insult a sacred text like Ramcharitmanas,” he alleged.
The UP chief minister said Tulsidas had united the society through Ramlilas.
“The way efforts were made to tear the Ramcharitmanas, what would have happened if this had happened to another religion,” he said.
Adityanath also lashed out at the Samajwadi Party for disrupting Governor Anandiben Patel’s address, alleging its conduct was “anti-women”.
He said the behaviour of the Opposition during the Governor’s address on February 20 had “shattered the dignity of the House”.
“Those who cannot give respect to a female governor, the one who symbolises women power (‘matri shakti’), expecting them to give respect to half the population (the women), will be dishonesty,” the chief minister said.
Adityanath accused the previous Samajwadi Party government of indulging in a “game of scams” and said that a report has shown embezzlement of Rs 97,000 crore during its reign.
“In their government, there were only games and games. There was a game of laptop scam, a game of food grain scam, and the game of Gomti riverfront scam. Now, a report of one of the scams is out,” he said.
“In one tenure, there was a report of a scam amounting to Rs 97,000 crore,” the chief minister said but did not elaborate.
He said the BJP government speaks about providing houses, electricity connection, water for irrigation and employment, but the Samajwadi Party talks only about caste.
“We speak about industrialisation and ease of doing business. We strive to take forward UP, while they have a regressive approach,” he said.
He also took a jibe at the SP while referring to SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav “boys commit mistakes” remark.
Pointing out to the state guest house incident in 1995 at Lucknow, Adityanath said their behaviour had become public during that time.
To this, Akhilesh Yadav objected, saying, “Netaji has been honoured by the Centre…they should feel ashamed.” The guest house incident took place when Mayawati had withdrawn support from the Mulayam Singh Yadav government, reducing it to a minority.
According to reports, agitated SP workers cornered Mayawati at a guest house and besides hurling abuses, allegedly cut off the electricity and water supply. As Mayawati found herself surrounded by a mob of angry SP men, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker Brahmdutt Dwivedi had come to her her rescue.
The House later passed the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address.