Another BJP MLA Questions Yogi Govt’s Handling of Pandemic; Says if I Speak Up I Face Sedition Charge


Rakesh Rathore, BJP MLA from Sitapur district in Uttar Pradesh. — IANS

Rakesh Rathore hits out at his own government in UP saying that lawmakers like him do not have any freedom to speak the truth.

Clarion India

LUCKNOW — Rakesh Rathore, a BJP MLA from Sitapur district, has become the latest to join the list of ruling party lawmakers in Uttar Pradesh who have expressed resentment over COVID-19 management in the state, saying he feared a sedition charge for speaking up.

“This may lead to a sedition charge against me,” he said while talking to reporters, reports IANS.

“I have taken many steps, but what is the stature of legislators? If I speak too much, then sedition charges may be invoked against me,” he said when replying to a question about ICU facilities in Sitapur.

When asked to clarify his statement, he said, “Do you think MLAs can speak their mind? You know I have raised questions in the past.”

Everything is going fine. I will only say that things couldn’t be better, he said in a sarcastic vein, while replying to another question, reports PTI.

Asked why the district administration is lacking in efforts to control the crisis, the MLA said the government and administration are two sides of the same coin.

Other members of the ruling BJP in Uttar Pradesh too have questioned Yogi Adityanath’s handling of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

On May 9, Union Labour minister Santosh Gangwar complained to the chief minister about the situation in his Bareilly constituency, saying officials don’t take calls and government health centres send back patients for ‘referrals’ from the district hospital.

In a letter to Adityanath, he also complained about the big shortage of empty oxygen cylinders and the high prices of medical equipment in Bareilly.

A day later, BJP MLA from Jasrana in Firozabad Ramgopal Lodhi claimed that his coronavirus positive wife was not admitted to an Agra hospital for over three hours, with officials saying that beds were not available.

Rakesh Rathore, a first-time MLA, had joined the BJP before the 2017 Assembly elections in the state. He had fought election in the past as an Independent and was also associated with Bahujan Samaj Party.

Last year, Rathore was served a show cause notice after a video clip in which he apparently questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to light candles and beat ‘thalis’ during the initial days of the lockdown.

(With inputs from agencies)

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