Lucknow: Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was on Tuesday prevented from taking a flight to attend an event organised by the Students Union at Allahabad University, triggering a political storm.
Akhilesh had to take a private plane here but was told by a senior district official that the Samajwadi Party leader did not have the permission to do so.
A fuming Akhilesh Yadav, who returned home after arguing with the airport officials for about two hours, said the Uttar Pradesh government was so scared of him that they stopped him from going to Allahabad University.
Calling it "remote control politics of two-and-a-half men", Akhilesh alleged that he was detained at the airport on the premise that his presence at the Allahabad University could lead to law and order issues.
The 45-year-old leader said that the ruling BJP, by committing such acts, had not only lost the upcoming Lok Sabha elections but also earned the ire of the youth.
The development triggered a war of words between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Samajwadi Party.
As the news spread, scores of Samajwadi Party workers and leaders rushed to the airport and raised anti-government slogans.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati denounced the action against Akhilesh.
She wondered if the central and state BJP governments were so afraid of the BSP-SP alliance that they were resorting to such "anti-democratic methods".
The 63-year-old Dalit leader accused the BJP governments of trying to "curb our political activities". "This is very unfortunate and undemocratic. It will be fought at all levels."
The state government dismissed the allegations and said the university authorities had on February 2 asked Yadav not to visit as the university disapproved of "political participation in campus events".
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the decision was taken by the district administration based on the threat assessment of violence.
"SP has a history of lawlessness and his visit could have created problems. There was a fear of student groups creating law and order problem," he said.
After staying put at the airport for more than two hours, the former chief minister left for his residence in a huff.