"Adherence To Law Paramount For Everyone": Yogi Adityanath On Arvind Kejriwal's Arrest

His remarks came in the wake of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in an excise policy-linked money-laundering case.

'Adherence To Law Paramount For Everyone': Yogi Adityanath On Arvind Kejriwal's Arrest

"It is wrong if any person or government starts considering itself above the law," he said (File)


Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday said "adherence to the law is paramount for everyone, regardless of their position or influence".

His remarks came in the wake of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in an excise policy-linked money-laundering case.

According to a press statement issued by the Uttar Pradesh government, speaking in a discussion with a private television channel, Mr Adityanath said, "Democracy prevails in our country, allowing individuals like Mr Kejriwal to repeatedly hold the position of chief minister. However, democracy does not allow any person, party or organisation to commit dacoity." 

He underscored the role of a chief minister as a public servant rather than the "owner" of a state. "Our work is that of a public servant and custodian," he said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader emphasised the importance of equal treatment under the law and said even he would be subject to legal consequences if found in violation of regulations.

"It is wrong if any person or government starts considering itself above the law. The ED is an independent regulatory body and Mr Kejriwal's case is in the court. Now, only the court will decide over it," he said.

Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the people of Uttar Pradesh for driving transformative changes in the state, Mr Adityanath said, "The perception about the state has changed completely. Before 2017, people here grappled with an identity crisis, experiencing frequent communal disturbances. Safety for women and businessmen was a concern, and the security situation was dire." Criticising the previous administrations, the chief minister accused them of prioritising "familial interests", fuelling "caste-based divisions" and neglecting broader societal welfare. "However, today, it is a new Uttar Pradesh of a new India," he asserted.

Mr Adityanath pointed out that his government's seven-year tenure is nearing completion, during which three years were significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Despite this, we were successful in doubling the GDP. Today, Uttar Pradesh has become a revenue-surplus state. Before 2017, the state did not even have money to pay salaries to employees. No big bank would give us money," he said.

Reiterating the BJP's commitment to development over divisive politics, Mr Adityanath emphasised the party's respect for people's faith. "We do not impose curfews, we pave the way for the Kanwar Yatra. There is a lot of potential for spiritual tourism in Uttar Pradesh," he said.

Mr Adityanath said he has visited Ayodhya, Mathura and Varanasi more frequently than any other chief minister. "This is why there has been a 100-time increase in opportunities between Ayodhya before 2017 and Ayodhya now, leading to employment for lakhs of people," he said.

On police encounters in the state, the chief minister said the security personnel adhere to established protocols, adding, "If anyone harasses the daughters and the businessmen, whatever measures are necessary will be taken to establish the rule of law." Mr Adityanath also said "we cannot tamper with the Hindu faith. Perhaps that is why we have not secured a place in the minds of Muslims".

"In India, we have to respect the original soul of the place. Hindu is the basic soul of India. It cannot be insulted. If anyone assumes we will engage in politics by disrespecting this sentiment, they are mistaken. We cannot compromise on national security or the reverence for the Hindu faith. We are blessed by the god and supported by people," he was quoted as saying in the statement.

Regarding the paper-leak issue, the chief minister said stringent measures have been implemented. He asserted that severe action will be taken against those who jeopardise the future of youngsters.

On the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA),Mr Adityanath said the Muslim population in India has increased at a much faster rate than that of Hindus since independence and conversely, the Hindu population in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan has declined significantly.

The BJP leader said if the Centre is granting citizenship through the CAA to the refugees born in India who adhere to all religious customs, it should be received with open arms.

He said strict action should be taken against those who resort to violence, adding that the CAA embodies the ethos of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one family)".

Regarding the modernisation of madrassas, the chief minister said, "While Shariat may remain a personal subject for some, it cannot supersede the Constitution. We are prioritising the modernisation of madrassas. We require scientists, engineers and skilled professionals. Our educational system needs to evolve to meet these demands." Commenting on the SP-Congress alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, he noted that such electoral tie-ups have occurred previously as well.

"The people of the state have already taught them a lesson. That is why Rahul (Gandhi) and Priyanka (Gandhi Vadra) lack the courage to come to Uttar Pradesh. False promises will not deceive people anymore." He asserted that the BJP and its allies are poised to deliver their strongest poll performance in Uttar Pradesh, adding that the upcoming election will reaffirm the country's trust in Modi's leadership.

"The results will be declared on June 4 and Modiji will assume the Prime Minister's Office for the third time," Mr Adityanath said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)