The opposition parties on Thursday slammed Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for warning anti-CAA protesters that “azadi” slogans raised by them will be treated as sedition.
While the Samajwadi Party drew an analogy with the British rule, the Congress termed it “a language of dictators”.
The chief minister in a rally in Kanpur on Wednesday had said, “If azadi slogans are raised here like they used to be raised in Kashmir, then it will come in the category of sedition and stringent action will be taken by the government.”
Reacting to it, senior SP leader Ram Govind Chaudhary said the British too “had described freedom fighters as terrorists”.
“Now their successors or those who had sided with them are terming those raising azadi slogans traitors,” he said.
Chaudhary said there was no need to get “perturbed” by such warnings. “Their (BJP’s) countdown has started and that is why they are ranting,” Chaudhary said.
The SP leader alleged that the chief minister was threatening women against those hell bent on dividing the country. “Azadi is the birthright of all countrymen and those denying it will have to depart in the same manner as Hitler,” the SP leader said.
SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary too said the dissent against the CAA was being dubbed as treason by the chief minister, which was against the very essence of democracy.
“The chief minister is threatening women who are demanding their rights,” Chaudhary asserted.
When asked about the chief minister’s allegation that the SP was funding anti-CAA protests, Chaudhary said, “This amounts to making a mockery of people’s emotions.”
“Protests are on in all the states, including north-eastern region. Are we distributing money in all states,” Chaudhary wondered.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Kumar `Lallu’ said the chief minister was speaking “a language of dictators”.
“If raising voice against the government’s oppression and politics of hatred is treason, the government should first arrest me,” Lallu said, adding that since the protests had rattled the government, it was accusing the Congress of sponsoring them.
“If people are on agitation path over this issue, why is the government not addressing it,” Lallu said.
At a public meeting in Kanpur, the chief minister had said, “...I would like to say from the soil of India, and especially the soil of Uttar Pradesh, that in the name of protests, if azadi slogans are raised here like they used to be raised in Kashmir, then it will come in the category of sedition, and stringent action will be taken by the government.”