Samajwadi Party (SP) national president Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday accused the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh of tapping the phones of SP leaders.
In particular, Yadav charged Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath with “listening to phone conversations of SP leaders, every evening, from the phones tapped by some UP police officers”.
Akhilesh made the allegations at a press conference at the party’s state headquarters in Lucknow.
“The ‘un-upyogi (useless)’ BJP government listens to all our phone calls. All the SP office phones and the mobile phones of all those associated with us are being listened to. The chief minister, every evening, himself listens to the recording of the phone conversations taken to him by the officers. If this chief minister works 24 hours a day, what else does he do? Work generally finishes by the evening,” he said.
When asked on whose instructions he thought the officers were getting phones tapped, Akhilesh said: “Un-upyogi Sarkar (BJP government) and un-upyogi mukhya mantri (chief minister).”
The former chief minister also said that on returning to power, his government will “turn the bulldozers (act against) such police officers. Some people are engaged in keeping him (the CM) happy during his last days in power.”
Akhilesh said that the fear of imminent defeat in the 2022 UP assembly polls was nagging the BJP.
“The fear of defeat first spurred the BJP to bring in big leaders, Union ministers in UP (for campaigning), then it started using central agencies against the SP leaders. They have brought in the income-tax department and will bring in ED, CBI and other agencies in the days to come. The BJP government at the Centre had been using these tactics in the non-BJP ruled states to win power. In UP, they are using it to try to prevent the SP from returning to power,” he alleged.
When asked if he would complain about it at an appropriate forum, Akhilesh said: “No, we will not go anywhere. We will simply oust this government. People are restive to oust this government and bring the SP back to power. They are eagerly waiting for the poll notification and the voting dates.”
On Saturday’s income-tax raids on some SP leaders, Akhilesh said: “If this government thinks that the Samajwadi Vijay Rath will halt because of I-T raids, then it’s mistaken. The raids have proved that the SP is coming to power. Vijay Rath will stop only when people install the SP government.”
Akhilesh Yadav’s Vijay Yatra has completed seven phases so far. During the yatra, the SP chief has been campaigning from a motorised rath (bus). The eighth phase of the yatra will begin on Tuesday and cover the distance from Mainpur to Etah.
He referred to the chief minister and BJP government as “un-upyogi mukhyamatri” and “un-upyogi sarkar” at least a hundred times in the 55-minute press conference.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after laying the foundation stone of the Ganga Expressway in Shahjahanpur, had used the new coinage UPYogi or “UP plus Yogi bahut hai upyogi” to praise Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath for “eliminating” mafias and undertaking a lot of developmental work in the state.
Rajiv Rai, one of the SP leaders whose houses/establishments were raided by the income-tax department on Saturday, shared the dais with Akhilesh at the press conference. Rai, who is also a spokesperson for the SP, said: “I, for last 20 years, had been filing all the relevant papers with the income tax department. Why did the department not do any procedural thing then? It’s obvious they are trying to intimidate us, scare us. But we are Samajwadis (socialists) and can’t be scared.”
Hours after the raids began, Akhilesh Yadav, at a press conference in Rae Bareli on Saturday had attacked the BJP government and said, “Now, the Income-Tax department has jumped into the election fray.”