Samajwadi Party alleges foul play after its workers get ‘red cards’ : The Tribune India

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Samajwadi Party alleges foul play after its workers get ‘red cards’

Samajwadi Party alleges foul play after its workers get ‘red cards’


Tribune News Service

Animesh Singh

New Delhi, May 15

One is familiar with hockey or football players being shown red cards, but in UP, workers of political parties are reportedly getting “red cards” for being a “potential threat” to smooth conduct of elections.

Several Samajwadi Party (SP) workers across many districts in UP have allegedly received such red cards from local police stations, asking them not to indulge in any activity which may obstruct peaceful polling, otherwise strict legal action will be taken against them.

Senior SP leaders have alleged that it was part of the ruling BJP government’s plan in the state to prevent their workers from campaigning.

During the recently concluded third phase of the Lok Sabha elections, many SP workers received such notices from local police stations, senior leaders said. SP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Javed Ali Khan told The Tribune that red cards were also issued to party workers in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and earlier bypolls, especially after the BJP came to power in UP. “Several of our party workers have been issued red cards by the police during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. In Sambhal and Moradabad, more than 10,000 party workers received these notices. In fact, quite a few of our workers were even taken into preventive custody. However, no red cards have been issued to BJP workers,” Khan alleged.

During INDIA bloc leaders’ meeting with the Election Commission on May 10 over the issue of delay in the release of voter turnout data, Khan raised the issue with the panel. “I gave a letter written by our leader Ram Gopal Yadav, highlighting the issue to the EC which assured us that it would take cognisance of it,” he said.

On May 7, when 10 seats of Uttar Pradesh went to the polls under the third phase, a Samajwadi Party worker in Budaun received a red card, which said, “It has been reliably learnt that you can be an impediment to the forthcoming elections scheduled to be held on May 7 and can also impact the law and order situation. Therefore, you are warned that strict legal action could be taken against you if any confirmed information of misconduct on your part is received.”

The red card was signed by a police inspector.

Another red card, issued to an SP worker during last year’s Ghosi Assembly bypoll in Uttar Pradesh, read that the person in question had been found to be instigating and trying to influence people into voting for a particular party and candidate.

“Therefore, you are advised that on the day of voting, you stay at home after casting your vote. You are advised not to indulge in any activity which may disrupt electioneering and law and order situation, otherwise strict legal action will be taken against you,” the red card said

“The BJP is scared and it is trying to get the help of administration under its regime. There were a lot of inquiries against opposition leaders under Section 107 and 117, CrPC, and red cards were issued. Opposition leaders were issued red cards by the police and threatened not to come to booth and campaign, they were abused and demoralised,” Ram Gopal Yadav had told a new agency earlier this month.

‘Stay home’ diktat given last year too

A ‘red card’ was issued to an SP worker during last year’s Ghosi Assembly bypoll in UP. It read the person in question had been found instigating and trying to influence people into voting for a particular party. “You are advised that on the day of voting, you stay at home after casting your vote.”

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