It’s ‘change your symbol’ talk time in U.P. now

War of words between BJP, SP over demolition of property of alleged criminals

BJP Rajya Sabha member and former Uttar Pradesh DGP Brij Lal on September 15 suggested that the Samajwadi Party (SP) change its election symbol to an LMG (light machine gun), as the war of words between the two parties over demolition of property of alleged criminals escalated.

The SP should change its election symbol from the cycle to LMG, which is “appropriate” for it, said Mr. Lal, sharing a picture of an LMG on Twitter.

“This LMG was ordered by Mukhtar Ansari for the murder of Krishnanand Rai [BJP MLA] and which was caught by the STF in January 2004. Your pitashreee [father Mulayam Singh who was then Chief Minister] had saved Mukhtar from the POTA,” Mr. Lal said in an attack on SP chief Akhilesh Yadav.

In 2019, a special CBI court in Delhi acquitted Mr. Ansari, jailed MLA from Mau, and seven others in the 2005 Rai murder case.

Mr. Ansari’s brother and former two-time MLA from Ghazipur, Sigbatullah Ansari, joined the SP recently quitting the BSP, following which BSP chief Mayawati said they would keep away from tainted elements in 2022 polls and even announced that Mr. Mukhtar would not be fielded by her.

Maurya’s demand

Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya also asked the SP to change its symbol to an AK-47 rifle after Mr. Yadav, taking a dig at the Yogi Adityanath government’s showcasing of demolition of properties of alleged criminals and opponents, said the BJP should change its symbol.

Mr. Yadav told reporters on Tuesday, “The ‘sarkar’ should change its election symbol to bulldozer”.

The Adityanath government has regularly flaunted that it has demolished or seized property worth over ₹1500 crore of alleged mafia dons and criminals as part of its drive against organised crime. And action against the Anaris has been on the top of the list of the police.

The SP has often accused the BJP government of misusing authority and targetting opponents with bulldozers.

Mr. Yadav said, “The government’s biggest accomplishment is that it has a bulldozer”. In a veiled threat, he stated, “A bulldozer comes with a steering. Today it is moving in one direction, tomorrow it can move in another direction.”

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