Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Friday claimed that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from Lok Sabha is BJP's tactic to divert people's attention from issues like inflation, unemployment and an “industrialist friend” sinking India's money.
The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister also alleged that since the BJP came to power in UP in 2017, it took help of the government and the administration to get false cases lodged against Samajwadi Party MLAs like Azam Khan and got them disqualified from the state assembly.
Yadav, on a day-long visit to Noida-Greater Noida, said if fairly probed, a lot of BJP leaders would also lose their legislative membership on the basis of the language used by them and the remarks made by them.
Gandhi was disqualified from Lok Sabha on Friday, a day after he was convicted by a court in Gujarat's Surat in a 2019 criminal defamation case over his "Modi surname" remark. Announcing the opposition leader's disqualification, the Lok Sabha Secretariat in a notification said it was effective from March 23, the day of his conviction.
“In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP has taken away membership of several Samajwadi Party leaders. Today the membership of Congress's biggest leader has been taken away. If we look at everything this way, then a lot of BJP members would also be disqualified. If fairly probed, then a lot of BJP members would get disqualified for the kind of language they use and statements they make,” Yadav told reporters in Greater Noida.
“This has been done to deliberately divert people's attention from real issues like inflation and unemployment, and an industrialist friend who has sunk India's money. They don't want to discuss these issues,” he added
The former UP CM also alleged that the BJP was taking help of the administration to implicate SP MLAs in false cases.“Ever since the BJP has come to power in Uttar Pradesh, it has taken help of the administration and the government to first lodge false cases and then on several occasions, both the administration and the government have together taken away (assembly) membership of SP leaders. Azam Khan saab lost his membership, so did his son Abdullah. Similarly cases were lodged against sitting MLAs, like Irfan Solanki in Kanpur. An officer from outside the state was called in to UP to make this happen,” he said.
“Two days ago, MLA Irfan Solanki had said that he is being treated this way because they (BJP) want him disqualified as MLA,” Yadav claimed. Azam Khan was disqualified in October 2022 after a court sentenced him to three years in jail in a 2019 hate speech case. He represented Rampur Sadar assembly constituency. Abdullah Azam Khan was disqualified in February 2023, days after a court sentenced him to two-year imprisonment in a 15-year-old case.