SP comes in support of Tikait, condemns govt's action

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Lucknow, Mar 31L: Even as the Uttar Pradesh police was trying to arrest Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Mahendra Singh Tikait for using ''objectionable language'' against Chief Minister Mayawati, the Mulayam Singh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party today came out in open support to BKU saying the party always worked for the cause of farmers.

''Whatever Tikait has said was a harmless remark and his statement was construed as objectionable due to the tone of his rural dialect,'' SP acting state president Shivpal Singh Yadav told reporters here.

He said the state administration had converted Sisauli, the native village of Tikait, into a fortress and its action was ''uncalled for''. ''BKU leader has not said anything objectionable as is being projected by the government, creating unnecessary terror among villagers and poor farmers,'' he added.

Mr Yadav said the district units of his party had been directed to help the farmers and save them from ''improper'' action by the Mayawati government.

The SP, the main opposition party in the state, was the second major political party after the Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) to come out in support of the BKU.

Tikait was charged with using objectionable remark against Ms Mayawati in a rally in Bijnore yesterday. Subsequently, an FIR was lodged against him but the police's attempts to arrest him failed due to stiff resistance from BKU workers, who helped Tikait reach Sisauli, his native village in district Muzaffarnagar.

A police party, however, tried to arrest him this morning. But could not after people resisted, that triggered violence in which at least ten policemen got injured.

They however, arrested Surinder, son of Tikait.

Meawnhile, Apna Dal's National President Dr Sone Lal Patel condemned the UP government's move against the farmers and called for a 'dharna' in protest.


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