Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday invoked his government's initiative--"anti-romeo squads"--to attack Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan for his controversial comment against BJP's Rampur candidate Jaya Prada. He said the anti-harassment teams formed by him when he came to power in Uttar Pradesh were for people like Mr Khan.
Yogi Adityanath's "anti-Romeo squads" were small police teams formed across the state to stop sexual harassment of women at public places. The initiative had come under attack from the opposition after reports of police harassing innocent people had emerged.
"Our government has constituted anti-Romeo squad for persons like Azam," he was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.
"A jeev (human being) of SP (Samajwadi Party) lives in Rampur... What kind of language he used for Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar... Today Mayawati ji is seeking votes for those who had disrespected Baba saheb... What kind of language he uses against mothers and daughters?" he said at a rally in Uttar Pradesh's Sambhal.
Azam Khan, Samajwadi Party's candidate in Rampur, had said, "You made the person your representative for 10 years. Understanding the person's real face you took 17 years. I realised in 17 days that the underwear beneath is of the khaki colour."
The comment had brought him criticism from the Election Commission, and a 72-hour ban on campaigning.
Jaya Prada had won parliamentary polls in Rampur two times on the Samajwadi Party ticket. She was sacked from the party in 2010. She has alleged that she had been forced to quit Rampur due to harassment she faced at the behest of Mr Khan.
Yogi Adityanath, BJP's star campaigner and Hindutva face, was campaigning on Friday after a gap of 72 hours as he had been censured by the Election Commission for his "Ali-Bajrangbali" jibe at the opposition. On Friday, he made yet another controversial comment as he claimed that Shafiqur Rahman Barq, the SP candidate, had once told him that he was the successor of Mughal emperor Babur.
(With inputs from PTI)