Akhilesh prevented from boarding plane to Prayagraj

Samajwadi Party president and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav addresses a press conference after he was stopped at Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport, in Lucknow, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. Yadav claimed that he was prevented from participating in a function at the Allahabad University. (PTI Photo)

A huge controversy erupted after Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav was allegedly prevented from boarding a plane to Prayagraj to attend a function at Allahabad University on Tuesday by officials citing law and order issues.

Angry SP workers later took to the streets and staged demonstrations in different parts of the state prompting the police to use force at some places.

Akhilesh tweeted pictures, that showed an official in plain clothes blocking the entrance of the chartered plane at Lucknow airport and the SP president saying ''haath mat lagao'' (don't touch me).

''The BJP government is scared of the youths... there was no written order to stop me from boarding the plane,'' Akhilesh said.

He also accused the state government of keeping his house under watch and creating unrest at varsity campus to prepare grounds to deny him permission to go there. 

SP workers in large numbers came out on the streets and held demonstrations at many places in protest against the government action.

Police made lathi charge at students and SP workers in Prayagraj in which SP Lok Sabha member Dharmendra Yadav was also injured.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath defended the denial of permission to Akhilesh and said that the local administration, as well as varsity officials, had apprehended trouble had Akhilesh attended the function.

''SP should desist from creating problems in the state... Kumbh fair was still going at Prayagraj... we can not allow any disturbance,'' he said.

BSP supremo Mayawati, however, slammed the BJP government for stopping Akhilesh from going to Prayagraj and accused the saffron party of ''killing democracy''.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee also lent support to Akhilesh and condemned the state government action.

The SP president was invited by his party's students' wing to attend a function at the varsity. 

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