BSP officials out to taint SP's image, says Akhilesh Yadav

Lucknow, March 9 (IANS) Amid reports of hooliganism by Samajwadi Party supporters in several parts of the state, party president Akhilesh Yadav Friday accused "mischief makers" and state government officials of trying to sully the SP's name following its triumph in the assembly polls.

Contradicting reports that SP workers were indulging in violence, Akhilesh Yadav blamed the present set of officials of being behind the incidents and rumour mongering.

He alleged that officials of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) led government, which was defeated earlier this week, were spreading canards about the SP "as they knew they are on their way out".

Addressing reporters, he gave a clean chit to party workers in the incidents of violence attributed to them.

The SP president also said the incidents of violence were "politically conspired".

"This is just absurd. Will we be held responsible for every law and order situation in the state?" his close aide asked, talking to IANS.

On Tuesday, the day the SP swept to power in the state, celebratory fire in Sambhal left a 13-year-old boy dead. In Firozabad, SP workers pelted stones at policemen and injured one man, who died the next day of a gunshot wound.

On Wednesday, a group of reporters was held hostage in Jhansi on Wednesday.

The party's clarification comes following reports that SP workers set on fire a hutment at Sitapur, where supporters of an Independent candidate lived.

According to reports, the incident took place at Babna village in Sitapur where supporters of the newly elected SP legislator Mahendra Kumar Singh are alleged to have beaten up Independent candidate Shiv Kumar Gupta and then set the huts of his supporters on fire.

Gupta has alleged that the SP workers were angry about his supporters not voting the SP.

Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav had earlier chided party workers in Saifai, his native village, and asked them not to go overboard and dent the party's image.