Against the spirit of democracy

Days after the West Bengal government did not allow the chopper carrying Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BJP chief Amit Shah to land in the state, the UP government on Tuesday grounded Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and stopped him from flying out of the Lucknow airport. Yadav was on his way to Allahabad University for a function, but was physically stopped by police from boarding a special flight to Prayagraj, 200 kms from Lucknow. His party called it an attempt to kill democracy, but CM Yogi stated that the government took the decision after a request from the university, which was apprehensive about a law and order situation.
Within hours, protests swept through Prayagraj, Jaunpur, Jhansi, Kannauj, Balrampur, Jalaun, Azamgarh, Gorakhpur, and state capital Lucknow. Samajwadi Party supporters on a spree of violence vandalized vehicles, and clashed with the police when they came to control the mob. It is strange that the UP CM, who was critical of the West Bengal government for restricting his movement in that state, is resorting to a similar tactic in his own state to target the opposition leader. Both West Bengal and UP governments are committing a grave mistake by restricting the movement of opposition leaders in their respective states. It is against the spirit of Indian democracy and should be avoided. Unless someone creates law and order problems, it is wrong to restrict the movement of political leaders. Being the people’s representatives, they have the right to travel to any part of India to campaign for their respective parties. The democratic ethos of our country should not be compromised for political gains. The Election Commission should take note of these developments and interfere if the situation goes out of control.