In a shocking move, 2 Samajwadi Party activists have been arrested for allegedly dumping potatoes in high-security areas, including outside Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence and the Vidhan Sabha building here, police said on Saturday. Lucknow’s Senior Superintendent of Police Deepak Kumar said the arrested persons – Ankit Singh Chauhan and Sushil Pasi – were linked to the Samajwadi Party’s youth wing.
He said after the potato dumping incident on January 6, over 10,000 telephone numbers were on surveillance that led the police to zero in on the two. Deepak Kumar said a CCTV footage revealed that the potatoes were wheeled into the high-security zone in a vehicle owned by Sanju Katiyar, who is the husband of Kannauj district panchayat chairperson Shilpi Chauhan. Kannauj is the parliamentary constituency of Dimple Yadav, wife of former Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.
The police officer said potatoes were purchased from a cold storage and that the culprits had stayed at a house in Mall Avenue a day before the incident. Akhilesh Yadav made light of the development and said there was nothing objectionable in the incident. At best reflects, he said, it only reflects that his party workers were concerned at the plight of the potato growers. He also condemned the police for booking a farmer who is associated with Samajwadi Party and stated that it seems police has nothing better to do other than arresting farmers protesting for their rights.
The pleas of farmers in Uttar Pradesh went unheard by the Uttar Pradesh government, which concentrated on Minimum Support Price for potato at Rs 487 per quintal. As the price slumped to Rs 4 per kg, the farmers dumped their produce outside the state assembly in order to show perversity against the UP government.