Nominations for the posts of the block panchayat head were filed in all 75 Uttar Pradesh districts on Thursday amid reports of clashes and allegations of snatching of papers at several places.
The Samajwadi Party (SP) has accused BJP workers of indulging in violence. According to a report by India Today, SP leader Ritu Singh on Thursday accused BJP workers of pulling the saree of a woman who was her proposer for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Block pramukh elections. The video of the incident has gone viral on social media.
The Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav took to Twitter to share the disturbing video, wherein two men can be seen intercepting the woman and grabbing her by her saree. He claimed that the miscreants were from the ruling BJP. "Power hungry goons of [Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister] Yogi Adityanath," Akhilesh Yadav tweeted.
According to a report by India Today, a case has been filed against BJP workers under sections 147, 171f, 354, 392 and 427 of the IPC.
Akhilesh Yadav accused BJP leaders and workers of indulging in anarchy and violence during the process of filing nominations for the election to the posts of chairpersons of kshetra panchayats and making a mockery of democracy.
"The ruling BJP has held the law and order of Uttar Pradesh hostage. The people belonging to the ruling party are openly throttling democracy and the police administration is watching this murder of democracy as mute spectators. The ruling partymen indulged in anarchy and violence during the nomination-filing process held on Thursday and made a mockery of democracy," he said in a release issued by the SP.
Akhilesh Yadav said former Uttar Pradesh Assembly speaker Mata Prasad Pandey's car was damaged in Siddharthnagar district's Etwa block.
He also said the nomination papers of his party candidate in Hardoi's Sandi block were torn while in Sambhal, Basti Ka Gaur, Jhansi's Baragaon block, Sitapur's Kasmanda block, Kanpur's Bilhaur and Shivrajpur, Bulandshahr, Lalitpur, Unnao, Ghazipur, Gorakhpur, Mahrajganj's Siswa, Paratawal, Paniyara, Sadar, Deoria's Bhatni, Chitrakoot's Manikpur and Karvi, Etah's Marhra, BJP workers created hurdles in the nomination-filing process of the SP-backed candidates.
The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister cited similar cases in Bahraich and Mahrajganj, where he said SP workers were beaten up when they protested against such tactics and were injured. Journalists were beaten up and taken hostage in Kannauj while covering the nomination process, he said, alleging that the administrative officers are working as the agents of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
"This is an act of polluting the democratic system," Akhilesh Yadav said. The SP chief also demanded fresh arrangements to give another opportunity to the candidates who have not been able to file their nominations or that the entire process is carried out again.
"The BJP has done a lot of harm to democracy. Constitutional rights are being violated in Uttar Pradesh. Candidates are being threatened. In many districts, the BJP did not allow the nomination process. The nomination papers of the SP candidates were snatched," he alleged.
"There is a huge public anger against the BJP, they will do full justice in the Assembly polls in 2022," Akhilesh Yadav added.
Meanwhile, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra too accused BJP workers of indulging in violence, alleging that democracy was being “ripped off” in the state.
"PM Saheb and CM Saheb should congratulate their workers in UP for firing, bombing, stone pelting, looting nomination papers and thrashing journalists and women. Law and order is blind-folded while democracy has been ripped off in UP," she said in a tweet in Hindi.
The State Election Commission (SEC) had on July 5 issued the notification for the election to the posts of chairpersons of the kshetra panchayats in the state for which nominations were filed between 11 am to 3 pm on Thursday.
The last date to withdraw the candidature is July 9. Voting will be held on July 10 from 11 am to 3 pm and the counting of votes will be held the same day after 3 pm.
(With inputs from Agencies)