Accusing Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath of rigging the elections for district panchayat chairpersons, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav today said his "undemocratic behaviour poses a threat" to constitutional institutions.
"The CM has crossed all limits in rigging the district panchayat chairperson elections. His undemocratic conduct has posed a threat to the constitutional institutions in the state," said Mr Yadav.
"Hijacking the mandate, the state administration forcibly prevented candidates of Samajwadi Party and other opposition parties from filing nominations," the former chief minister said in a statement.
He also accused the state government of harassing SP leaders and lodging fake criminal cases against them.
"It is a matter of anguish that officials have remained mute spectators to the obstruction of the election process. The Election Commission too has remained helpless and the Raj Bhavan has observed silence," he said.
Mr Yadav alleged that in Balrampur, the SP candidate was kept on house arrest and her nomination papers were snatched. In Gorakhpur too, BJP workers laid siege to the main gate of the district collectorate and guarded every point in the building leading to the nomination room, he alleged.
"It is shameful to have such immoral conduct in the chief minister's home district," said Mr Yadav, adding that the SP candidate was stopped from filing nomination in Jhansi too.
"In Varanasi, the SP candidate's nomination paper was rejected," he said.
The BJP workers even tried to kidnap the SP candidate in Basti in presence of the police, Mr Yadav alleged, adding that in Ghaziabad, his party candidate and proposers were kidnapped before nomination.
"Unfortunately, police and revenue officials in many districts were seen playing an active role in preventing SP and other opposition candidates from filing their nomination papers," Mr Yadav said.
"The chief minister and the BJP leadership might pat their back for forcibly converting their defeat in the district panchayat elections into victory by using such undemocratic ways but they will have to face the assembly elections in future," he said.
"People are going to answer them (BJP) in their own language. The SP will come back in 2022 by winning 350 seats in the assembly and the BJP will be reduced to a few seats and will be forced to sit in the Opposition," Mr Yadav said.
Voting for the zila panchayat chairpersons polls will be held, if needed, on July 3.
The counting of votes will be taken up on the same day, the Uttar Pradesh State Election Commission had said in its poll notification earlier.
Zila panchayat chairpersons are elected from among the elected members of zila panchayats of various districts.
There are 75 districts in Uttar Pradesh. Four-phase panchayat polls were held in the state last month.