The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday ordered the withdrawal of at least eight cases against the present Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. This includes the 20,000 other ‘political cases’ that the Yogi government has started the process to withdraw. Governor Ram Naik has reportedly approved the withdrawal of “many cases” based on recommendations sent by the ruling BJP in the state, reported IANS.The cases included many against BJP leaders, a present Union Minister and the Chief Minister. One of the cases to be withdrawn is against Union Minister of Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla.
The state government recommended the withdrawal of cases a day before it tabled an amendment Bill – Uttar Pradesh Law (Composition of Offences and Abetment of Trials) in the state assembly during the winter session on December 21. Yogi faces many cases, including breach of prohibitory orders in 1995. In this matter even a non-bailable warrant was issued against him when he was Gorakhpur MP. In May this year, soon after Adityanath became the chief minister, his government had bluntly told the Allahabad High Court that he could not be tried for making a hate speech during the communal riots in Gorakhpur in 2007.
The riots in Gorakhpur in January 2007 were sparked allegedly after a provocative speech by Adityanath, the then local MP, over the killing of a Hindu youth in clashes between Hindu and Muslim groups during a Moharram procession. The BJP MP was arrested and remained in jail for 10 days before getting bail from a court. An affidavit stating that sanction has been “refused” for prosecuting Yogi Adityanath in the case was filed before the high court by Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar. Chief Minister Adityanath had announced on the floor of the House, during the winter session that his government would withdraw all such cases which were slapped by predecessor governments against “political opponents and innocent people”.
Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders have lashed out at the decision. Spokesman of the party Naved Siddiqui told reporters that the decision has proved that the ruling BJP has nothing to do with the people and was only concerned about “white washing its own wrong doing” Congress legislator Deepak Singh accused the state government of double speak. The SP government under its previous tenure had also withdrawn 1,800-plus cases.