The development led to statewide protests by SP workers, inviting police action in which sitting Badaun MP Dharmendra Yadav and several others were injured during cane charge in Allahabad. In Lucknow, SP workers protested outside the airport while both Houses were adjourned following unruly scenes and walkout by SP lawmakers.
Targeting the government, Akhilesh claimed he also had to attend a lunch hosted by Akhara Parishad chief Narencra Giri at Kumbh Mela ground, which the ruling BJP was not comfortable with.
Alliance partner BSP’s chief Mayawati was quick to condemn the government while Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee called up Akhilesh and offered support. Delhi CM Kejriwal also condemned the UP government.
CM Adtiyanath, however, said the decision to stop Yadav was taken on the recommendation of Allahabad district authorities who feared a law and order crisis in Sangam city on his arrival, especially as the Kumbh was going on.
Asked if the move was connected in anyway to a similar restriction imposed in 2015 over then Gorakhpur MP Adityanath’s visit to AU, Akhilesh said the two cannot be compared as Yogi has a host of criminal cases pending against him while he has none.
As SP and BJP sparred, hundreds of SP workers took to the streets in Allahabad led by Dharmendra Yadav. As the protest turned violent, cops resorted to lathicharge in which the MP and five others were injured. Four policemen were also injured. Similar protests erupted across UP, including Kanpur, Varanasi, Kanpur and many districts of west UP.