Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has banned people from clicking selfies on the road leading up his official residence in the state capital Lucknow. A sign was put up by state police at the beginning of Kalidas Marg but was later taken off due to criticism and mirth on social media. This sign stated that clicking pictures and selfies in the VIP area was an offence and would invite strict action, according to a report by NDTV.
The decision to impose this one-of-a-kind ban didn’t go well with a lot of people, including the former chief minister of the state Akhilesh Yadav. The Samajwadi Party leader took a dig against the Yogi Adityanath government by calling it a New Year gift for the people of Uttar Pradesh. Akhilesh even linked it to UPCOCA, a new law in the state that opposition parties are up in arms against. “A New Year’s Gift for the people of Uttar Pradesh, taking selfies could attract UPCOCA,” the former chief minister and Samajwadi Party boss tweeted in Hindi.
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s entire campaign for this year’s state assembly election was based on Akhilesh Yadav’s failure to control UP’s notorious crime. The Yogi Adityanath government, however, said that it has studied Maharashtra’s law against organised crime closely and that UP’s massive law and order problem can only be solved with the kind of stringent action that the proposed UPCOCA prescribes.
नए साल में जनता को उत्तर प्रदेश सरकार का तोहफा, सेल्फी लेने पर लग सकता है यूपीकोका!
— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) December 20, 2017
But Akhilesh Yadav had said that the new law “deceives the people” and will not improve law and order. Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati has also demanded that UPCOCA should be scrapped. She has alleged that the government will use it as a “political weapon” to oppress the poor, Dalits and minorities.
Significantly, the BJP won a massive majority in this year’s UP elections and will have no trouble in pushing UPCOCA through the assembly.