What forced SP to field jailed Azam Khan, asks BJP

Agra: The BJP on Tuesday sought to know what compelled the Samajwadi Party (SP) to field its jailed leader Azam Khan for the upcoming polls and labelled it a party of jail and bail .

Khan, the incumbent Lok Sabha MP from Rampur, has been in jail since February 2020 in various cases filed against him during the Yogi Adityanath regime in Uttar Pradesh.

Gaurav Bhatia, BJP’s spokesperson, sought an answer from SP chief Akhilesh Yadav on Khan’s candidature “even when the court had denied him bail”.

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He said the SP was deemed to be wiped off in the upcoming Assembly elections because the party stood for lawlessness .

“The crime rate in Uttar Pradesh during the SP government was at a high. We cannot forget the Jawahar Bagh incident in Mathura. Besides, riots used to be commonplace in Uttar Pradesh. The SP is a party of criminals. The mafias and dons used to consider themselves above the law. Now, they are under control and in fear,” Bhatia said.

In June 2016, 29 people, including two police officials, were killed in Mathura’s Jawahar Bagh park during a drive to evict squatters.

Explaining how things changed under the BJP government, Bhatia said Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath dedicated himself to the people of the state during COVID-19 and ensured timely vaccination of all.

He said there was a decline in rape cases under Adityanath government and hence, the sisters are safe .

Bhatia claimed that the double-engine government of Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been pushing for development. Earlier, Uttar Pradesh was a BIMARU’ (word coined in 1980s and bears resemblance to Hindi word bimar’ meaning sick) state. Now, it is becoming ‘Uttam’ (good) Pradesh, he said.

Bhatia claimed that the BJP was confident of winning over 300 seats in the state and all 65 seats in the Braj region.

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