Chaos At Akhilesh Yadav's Azamgarh Rally, Days After Disturbance In Prayagraj

The public rally was being held for the SP candidate in the Lalganj Lok Sabha seat, which Akhilesh Yadav's party is trying to win for the first time since 2004.

Akhilesh Yadav's SP is allied with the Congress-led INDIA bloc for this election.

New Delhi:

There was a stampede-like situation at an election rally in Uttar Pradesh's Azamgarh Tuesday that was headlined by Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav. The chaos erupted after the former UP Chief Minister arrived at the event, with over-eager party workers and supporters jostling with each other, and climbing over wooden barriers, to see Mr Yadav.

As the jostling and shoving escalated, not helped at points by unruly sections, the meeting devolved into bedlam. This was the third time a rally led by Mr Yadav has ended in disorder.

Visuals from the scene today showed carnage at a fair ground in the town of Saraymeer, with broken chairs and torn streamers littering the ground, prompting the police to step in and try and control the situation. The cops had to resort to a lathi charge to do so.

During the chaos Mr Yadav and others, including leaders from the INDIA opposition bloc, remained on stage and appealed, in vain, for the supporters and workers to calm down. The appeals, unfortunately, had no effect. Eventually, though, police restored a measure of order and Mr Yadav addressed the crowd.

The public rally was being held for the SP candidate in the Lalganj Lok Sabha seat, which Mr Yadav's party is trying to win for the first time since Daroga Prasad's 2004 success. 

In 2019 the seat was won by Sangeeta Azad from Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party.

In this election Daroga Prasad has been fielded (as the joint INDIA bloc candidate) by the Samajwadi Party against the BJP's Neelam Sonkar and the BSP's Indu Chaudhry.

The Lalganj seat will vote in the sixth phase - on May 25.

This is not the first time chaos has visited one of Mr Yadav's rallies in this election.

Earlier this week a rally in Prayagraj's Phulpur had to be cancelled, leaving Mr Yadav and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, who was also on stage, free for an impromptu on-stage chat.

READ | Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav Chat On Stage As Rally Scrapped Over Chaos

Mr Yadav and Mr Gandhi had to abandon plans for another joint election meeting, each without delivering their speeches. Sources said supporters broke through barricades trying to reach the dais at the rally.

READ | Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav Leave Rally Without Speech. Here's Why

UP is a key battleground as the BJP bids for a third consecutive term in power. The state - dominated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party in the last two general elections and intervening state polls - sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha, by far the most of any state.

According to the seat-sharing agreement between the two parties, the Samajwadi Party is contesting 63 seats while the Congress is contesting 17.

The state has voted in every phase so far and will vote in the sixth and seventh phases too.

The results will be out on June 4.

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