Rampur by-election 2022: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today (December 2) took a dig at senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan, who faces several cases and has spent time in jail, for playing the victim card, and said he was paying for his deeds.
Campaigning for the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) candidate, Akash Saxena, for the December 5 Rampur Sadar assembly by-poll, he told a rally that "repeated by-elections are obstructing the development of Rampur and I will appeal to all of you to free Rampur from the repeated by-polls and take it forward on the path of development".
In June, a by-election was necessitated for the Rampur Lok Sabha seat after Khan resigned as MP on being elected an MLA. Now, voting will be held on December 5 (Monday) for the assembly constituency following Khan's disqualification after a court in Rampur convicted and awarded him three years imprisonment in a 2019 hate speech case.
In an apparent reference to Khan, the chief minister said that there is "a SP leader who comes to you and has been continuously saying that injustice has been done to him". "I feel that nothing could be more misleading than this statement. The acts of a person give him the punishment for his deeds," he said.
"Cases are pending against him in courts, and the courts are deciding (the matter) on the basis of merit. There is no point levelling allegations on the government or on the party (BJP)," Adityanath said without naming Khan.
The BJP leader said he feels that "badzubani" (use of foul words) always leads to misery. He had made comments on women, constitutional institutions and also on the administration, the chief minister said attacking the SP leader.
Khan, who is campaigning across the constituency for SP nominee Asim Raja, picked by him as the party's candidate, has been alleging that the state government has lodged false cases against him. Recently a video surfaced on social media, showing Khan in tears as he narrates his woes.
"When the SP loses an election, it first blames the Election Commission, then EVMs (electronic voting machines), followed by the administration and police. However, it never blames its own actions," the chief minister said.
"If you had repented for your action and sought an apology from the people, then it was possible that the public could have forgiven you," he said referring to the SP's loses in elections in the state after 2017.
Hitting out at the opposition party in Uttar Pradesh, Adityanath said it will not mend its ways and improve. "Those whose habits have changed will take a long time to improve. But time improves everyone," he said.
He said Rampur was once known for its fertile land, natural beauty and water resources. It also played a leading role in the freedom movement and the violins and knives made here have given it a global recognition, Adityanath said.
"(But then) who are the people who have destroyed the identity of Rampur? Who were the few opportunistic faces, among which this place was caught and seen in pain?" the chief minister asked.
Khan won the Rampur Sadar seat in the recent assembly polls for 10th time in a political career spanning nearly five decades. He had won from the parliamentary constituency in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In the eight-and-half years of the central government and five years of the Uttar Pradesh government, nobody can say that there has been appeasement and discrimination, he said. The BJP is power at the Centre and in the state.
Uttar Pradesh has become riot-free and curfew-free, and investments have started coming into the state, the chief minster said. During the SP's regime, chacha and bhatija (Shivpal Singh Yadav and SP chief nephew Akhilesh Yadav) "would go out for 'vasooli' (extortion)", Adityanath said, asserting that if today someone plays with the future of youngsters, then jail is the only place for him.
The BJP will win the bypoll and it is also "certain that the BJP government will remain in Uttar Pradesh, and at the Centre, it will be Prime Minister Narendra Modi.By sending an MP (of the BJP), Rampur has given a message that it wants to be a part of development," he said. He alleged that the SP had tried to grab an inter-college here.
"Schools and madrasas are places where education is imparted. But, some people were trying to destroy it thinking it as their own fiefdom," Adityanath said.
(With PTI inputs)