A woman is manhandled and her sari is pulled by two men in a disturbing video that emerged today as nominations were filed for local polls in Uttar Pradesh.
The woman was a proposer for a candidate of Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party and was trying to enter a nomination centre for block panchayat polls when she was attacked by rival party men who tried to stop her. They also snatched the candidate’s nomination papers.
Akhilesh Yadav alleged that the attackers were BJP workers and, sharing the video in a tweet, called them “power hungry goons of Yogi Adityanath (Chief Minister)”.
The incident took place at Lakhimpur Kheri, around 130 km from Lucknow.
Clashes were reported from more than a dozen places today as nominations were filled for voting on Saturday for 825 block pramukhs or local panchayat leaders.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also posted a video of the violence along with a comment targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath.
“PM and CM, please congratulate your workers in UP who resorted to bombs, stones and bullets, who snatched nomination papers, beat up journalists and misbehaved with women. Law and order is blindfolded and democracy is being disrobed,” Priyanka Gandhi tweeted in Hindi, referencing the Mahabharata.
पीएम साहब और सीएम साहब इसके लिए भी बधाई दीजिए कि
यूपी में आपके कार्यकर्ताओं ने
⭐कितनी जगह बमबाजी, गोलीबारी, पत्थरबाजी की
⭐कितने लोगों का पर्चा लूटा
⭐कितने पत्रकारों को पीटा
⭐कितनी जगह महिलाओं से बदतमीजी की
कानून व्यवस्था की आंख पर पट्टी बांधकर, लोकतंत्र का चीरहरण चल रहा है। pic.twitter.com/6H9L390frB
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) July 8, 2021
Police officer Prashant Kumar said security arrangements had been made for the filing of nominations but violence was reported from 14 areas.
“We have reports of clashes between groups, papers being snatched…Tough action will be taken against those involved,” said the officer.
Ahead of the assembly election in Uttar Pradesh next year, even local polls have seen intense campaigning and clashes.
After the recent Zila Panchayat presidents’ elections, the block pramukh polls will be the last rural election before the state votes for a new government.
The BJP scored big in the Zila Panchayat polls, winning 67 of 75 seats. The Samajwadi Party won only five seats. The Rashtriya Lok Dal, Jansatta Dal and an independent candidate won a seat each. Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) did not fight the polls.
In the same election in 2016, the Samajwadi Party had won 60 seats.