The Kanpur ambush in which eight policemen were killed is evidence that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s encounter policy, dubbed ”thoko niti”, has failed, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said on Monday.
Yadav also demanded that the call detail records (CDR) of slain gangster Vikas Dubey for the past years be made public. This is essential to expose the police-politician nexus and to find out who helped Dubey and who benefited from him, the SP president told PTI in a wide-ranging interview in which he also observed that the COVID-19 crisis in the state is getting out of control and discussed his party’s future plans.
Dubey was gunned down by police while allegedly fleeing police custody on July 10, a week after eight policemen were killed in his village Bikru in Kanpur when they walked into a trap as they were going to arrest him. ”Yogi-ji’s ‘thoko niti’ has failed miserably. Had it been successful and had criminals feared it, the Kanpur incident in which eight policemen were killed would not have happened. Giving a free hand to police is fine but there should also be effective checks and monitoring from the top,” Yadav said.
Referring to Dubey’s killing, he said, “If we say it is fake, they say we are defending a criminal. If there is an unbiased probe, the truth will come out.? He denied allegations that Dubey was in the SP and that his wife was given a ticket to contest panchayat polls.
“BJP put pressure on his (Dubey’s) mother to take SP’s name. As far as an SP ticket to Dubey’s wife is concerned, it’s not true. Our party had supported Sudha Yadav in that panchyat polls.”
“Fearing the disclosure of many secrets, the government has got him (Dubey) eliminated,” he alleged. The former chief minister also attacked the BJP-led government on its failure to check the spread of COVID-19. “If the government stops manipulating figures, UP will cross all records and because of UP, India will break the world record. The situation is getting out of control.”
The government, he suggested, should adopt a four-day week and allow home quarantine to patients with mild symptoms and treat only serious patients in hospitals. The state has 36,476 cases with 934 fatalities, according to Union Health Ministry figures on Monday.
Discussing the future of his party, Yadav said it has decided to give tickets to only candidates “who have a good image in the public” and not to those with dubious pasts. The party chief said it will not tie up with any big party in 2022 and go for an adjustment with smaller parties with a base. “This will help countering the BJP propaganda also that all parties have allied against ‘Hindutva’,” he explained.
About his experiences from past alliances, Yadav said, “Yes we lost in 2014, 2017 and 2019 too. We have learnt from experience and will strike back in 2022 by getting 351 of 403 (UP Assembly) seats.” He welcomed Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra getting more active in the state and said all parties should raise their voice against this government.
”It will send a message to people who already have made up their minds to vote against the BJP misrule.” In the days to come, he said, party workers would go out on cycles to reach out to the people. The SP’s work might not have been acknowledged by people earlier but this time “kaam bolega” (work will speak), Yadav said.
“In the past 3.5 years, only the infrastructure developed in SP regime is being used by this government and they did nothing new for the people. Can anyone tell what new thing they have given to the state,” he claimed. “When we ask what demonetisation and GST have given, the BJP did not reply and resorted to non-issues to divert attention of people,” he said. He said the BJP only knew how to mislead people. “What the state achieved from investment summit, defence expo, no one is ready to tell. They (BJP) don’t look back, but do another event. But it will not do them any good in the long run,” he added.