Other States

Denied entry to Varanasi, miffed ally hits out at NDA

Mukesh Sahani, the president of Vikassheel Insan Party (VIP). File   | Photo Credit: PTI

A day after he was detained at Varanasi airport and sent back without being allowed to enter the city, chief of Vikasheel Insaan Party (VIP), an NDA ally in Bihar, Mukesh Sahani lashed out at the coalition government in Patna, and said none listened to them in the alliance.

Mr. Sahani also boycotted the NDA leaders meeting ahead of the monsoon session of Bihar legislature and announced that his party would contest 165 seats in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections next year.

“In the NDA no one listens to us. The Varanasi incident has put a question mark on PM Narendra Modi’s slogan of sabka saath, sabka vikas (with all, development for all). Our party has decided to contest 165 seats in U.P. polls next year and form the government there,” Mr. Sahani told media persons outside the Bihar Assembly.


The five-day monsoon session of the Assembly began on Monday. Mr. Sahani is Minister for Animal Husbandry and Fisheries in the Nitish Kumar Cabinet and the Vikasheel Insaan Party has four MLAs in State Assembly.

On Sunday, Mr. Sahani, who goes by the sobriquet “Son of a Mallah (boatman)”, had reached Varanasi from Delhi to participate in the Shahadat Diwas (martyrdom day) programme of former MP Phoolan Devi, also from the mallah community. But the U.P. police detained him at the airport and sent him back to Kolkata. The police had also removed posters put up on roads leading to the airport welcoming the VIP chief. An infuriated Mr Sahani told media he would not be bullied by anyone.

Mr. Sahani’s party had announced that it would put up posters of Phoolan Devi in 18 districts of U.P., apparently to woo the mallah (fishermen and boatmen) community.

Meanwhile as the monsoon session got underway, Opposition MLAs came in wearing black masks, with some also wearing helmets, saying they were afraid of being beaten up by “Nitish Kumar’s police”.

Earlier in March this year during the Budget session, Patna district police had entered the Assembly premises and thrashed Opposition lawmakers, who were protesting against Bihar Special Armed Police Bill, 2021. As many as seven Opposition MLAs were injured and one RJD MLA Satish Das was taken out on a stretcher to a hospital. The contentious Bill proposed to rename the Bihar Military Police (BMP) and granted it powers to search and arrest without seeking a warrant from the court or the magistrate.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 3:27:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/denied-entry-to-varanasi-miffed-ally-hits-out-at-nda/article35544051.ece

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