Lucknow, Jan 13: Exactly a week ago, on January 6, a group of protesting farmers in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh staged a unique protest.
They dared to throw quintals of potatoes in front of the Vidhan Sabha building and outside the residence of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath as a symbolic protest against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government and its policies.
During the protest, the dissenting farmers said that they threw potatoes to express their anger as their crops were being wasted and the BJP-led government was doing nothing to arrest the decay.
On Saturday, reports stated that two persons have been arrested by the UP police for throwing potatoes during the January 6 protest.
The police stated that the two arrested persons had contested elections as Samajwadi Party (SP) candidates in the Nagar Panchayat polls.
The police also gave a clean chit to farmers' unions by stating that they did not take part in the protest. Thus the police held the opposition SP responsible for the whole potato-throwing protest.
"2 arrested for throwing potatoes outside Vidhan Sabha building on 6 January. Police say, 'these people had contested elections for Samajwadi Party in Nagar Panchayat polls & Kisan Unions have no relation to the incident.'," tweeted ANI.
2 arrested for throwing potatoes outside Vidhan Sabha building on 6 January. Police say, 'these people had contested elections for Samajwadi Party in Nagar Panchayat polls & Kisan Unions have no relation to the incident.' pic.twitter.com/M4lQArfKra— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) January 13, 2018
On the day of protest, quintals of potatoes strewn at the VIP and high-security zone areas in Lucknow sent the district administration and security officials in a tizzy.
Earlier, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Lucknow Deepak Kumar said the vehicles of the farmers involved in throwing potatoes were identified. The top cop added that necessary action would be taken against the culprits.
Farmers, however, said they have not done anything wrong as this was a symbolic protest against the government and its policies.
"We are getting Rs 3-4 per quintal from the 'mandis' while we want Rs 10 per quintal. What else do we do when our pleas are falling on deaf ears," a farmer told IANS.
UP Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Shahi denied the allegations and said the present state government was committed to the welfare of the farmers, especially potato growers.
"This appears to be some political conspiracy to defame the Yogi government," he alleged.
He added the potato thrown on the roads were of poor quality.