Akhilesh Yadav, the former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh targeted Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA government and said that journalists who write against the BJP ‘are not safe’. Yadav was speaking in a public meeting on Sunday organised in Kushinagar, UP. Taking a jibe at PM Narendra Modi-led government he said that the government talks about Digital India but if a journalist writes against them, he or she is killed, reported the Indian Express. “Ek taraf to aap Digital India ki baat kar rahe ho aur agar koi patrakar aapke khilaf likh de uski jaan chali ja rahi hai. Bangalore ki ek mahila patrakar Gauri Lankesh jinhone likh diya BJP ke baare me…. Uski jaan le li. (On one hand you speak of Digital India, but if any journalist writes against you, they are killed. In Bangalore, a woman journalist Gauri Lankesh, who had written about BJP…her life was taken),” Yadav said.
His statement came in the wake of the murder that took place on September 5 when 55-year-old journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead at close range by unknown assailants at her home in Bengaluru. Lankesh, a vocal critic of Hindutva politics, was known to be an anti-establishment voice with strident anti-Right wing views, as per the report by PTI.
Akhilesh also indicated possibilities of an alliance with other Opposition parties for elections, reported the Indian Express. Bypolls are to be held in Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha constituencies because Gorakhpur MP and CM Yogi Adityanath and Phulpur MP and Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya have been elected to the UP Assembly.