Sharad Yadav blames Centre, UP govt for BHU lathicharge

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Patna, Sept 25 (PTI): Rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav on Monday blamed the BJP governments at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh for the “barbaric” lathicharge on Banaras Hindu University (BHU) students.

“The students were staging a protest over a genuine demand. It was a small matter but the administration in Varanasi resorted to a barbaric lathicharge on them,” he told reporters at the airport here. “The BHU is among the oldest educational institutions in the country. Such a sordid event has never happened anywhere in the country in the 70 years since Independence. This is the reason we are fighting against such forces,” Yadav said. A number of students, including women, and two journalists were injured in a lathicharge by the police in the BHU, where a protest against an alleged eve-teasing incident turned violent on Saturday night. Accompanied by suspended JD(U) Rajya Sabha member Ali Anwar and former MP Arjun Rai among others, Yadav said he would tour Bihar for four days, starting on Monday, to take feedback from the people against the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.

He attacked the Narendra Modi government for allegedly not honouring its poll promises in the first three years of its rule. “Modi had made promises like creating two crore jobs for the youth every year and enhancing the minimum support price to farmers, but none of the promises was kept,” Yadav alleged. He added that going by the prime minister’s words, six crore jobs should have been created in the country by now, but instead, three crore jobs were lost “due to demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST)”. Yadav also came down heavily on the JD(U)-BJP government, headed by Nitish Kumar, in Bihar on the law-and-order situation in the state. “The law-and-order (in Bihar) is ruined,” he alleged.

The JD(U) faction, headed by Kumar, however, made light of Yadav’s Bihar tour and dubbed the former party president as a “political tourist”. “Being a politician, he (Yadav) has the right to go to any place he wishes to. The people of Bihar are very happy with the new JD(U)-BJP government headed by Kumar. Hence, no one will pay any heed to Yadav during his tour of parts of Bihar as a political tourist,” state JD(U) chief spokesman Sanjay Singh told PTI. Both the JD(U) factions, headed by Kumar and Yadav respectively, have approached the Election Commission for recognition as the original party.

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