The Reality Behind Akhilesh Yadav's Baseless Charges on the Tragedy in Hathras

Former CM Akhilesh Yadav has tried to do politics over the incident in which 121 people lost their lives in a stampede at a Satsang in Hathras, terming the BJP-led Yogi Adityanath government responsible for it.

The Narrative World    05-Jul-2024   
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Former CM Akhilesh Yadav has tried to do politics over the incident in which 121 people lost their lives in a stampede at a Satsang in Hathras, terming the BJP-led Yogi Adityanath government responsible for it. But going by facts, Yadav's charges come unstuck on not being substantiated and are aimed at exploiting the misfortune for political ends.


In one such satsang in Hathras, when the crowd went berserk to get closer to Bhole Baba's (Narayan Sakar Hari) vehicle, a stampede occurred on July 2, 2024, in which 121 people were killed.


The permission for the Satsang was for 80,000, but its number swelled to well over 200,000, much above the sanctioned limit. There were uncontrollable surges of the crowd towards the convoy of "Self-proclaimed" Bhole Baba.


The former chief minister also wasted no time attacking the Yogi Adityanath government and described it as a result of negligence by the government. He said the administration was fully aware of the event but didn't manage the crowd appropriately, which led to the disaster. Moreover, Yadav accused the government of inadequate health facilities; victims did not get proper medicare, which includes oxygen and medicines.


The facts, however, belie Yadav's claim:


1. Event Management and Crowd Control: The local authority had permitted 80,000 participants. On the other hand, the organisers did not limit this level of the influx of people, and nearly about 200,000 people were manipulated in. In the prevailing situation, it was not viable to handle the crowd logically. For this, event organisers are highly responsible that they did not work within the maximum limitations given.


2. Prompt Response by the Government: On the very same day of the tragedy, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident through the Additional Director General of Police (ADG) and the Commissioner. The report was demanded in 24 hours to ascertain the reasons and lapses that led to the stampede. This clearly shows that the government is prepared to deal with the incident in a responsible manner.


3. Health Infrastructure: The state's health infrastructure was quickly mobilised to respond to the crisis. And while Yadav accused the government of faltering responses in healthcare, the truth is that the event's sheer nature outran the beginning resources available. The administration then rapidly supplemented medical supplies and personnel to handle the magnitude of the disaster.


Akhilesh Yadav’s Tenure: A Legacy of Incompetence


Akhilesh Yadav's five-year rule in Uttar Pradesh was marked by many alleged acts of mismanagement and inefficiency on his part. His government was otherwise largely criticised—for law and order, infrastructure projects, or economic policies.


1. Law and Order Failures: Under Yadav's leadership, the state of Uttar Pradesh witnessed escalated rates of crimes—cases of violent crimes consistently ranked UP among the highest in India. High-profile cases of violence and communal riots, like the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013, brought to light the weaknesses in Yadav's administration and his lack of ability to bring about peace and order.


2. Infrastructure and Developmental Delays: Most infrastructure projects initiated during the Yadav administration constantly faced delays and cost overruns. Projects like the Agra-Lucknow Expressway, among others, were completed with lots of corruption and mismanagement allegations. Improper planning and execution seriously hampered the developmental process and economic growth in the state.


3. Economic Mismanagement: Yadav’s economic policies faced backlash for being short-sighted and geared towards gaining immediate popularity. Programs like distributing laptops and other freebies failed to tackle deeper problems such as unemployment and poverty in Uttar Pradesh. The absence of meaningful economic reforms led to slow growth and failed to attract major investments, leaving the state’s economy stagnant.


4. Healthcare System Neglect: Healthcare in Uttar Pradesh suffered greatly under Yadav's rule. Hospitals were frequently understaffed and lacked necessary medical supplies, resulting in poor healthcare services for residents. The 2017 Gorakhpur tragedy, where many children died due to an oxygen supply shortage, stands as a stark reminder of the severe mismanagement and neglect in the healthcare sector during his tenure.


Political Opportunism


The comments of Akhilesh Yadav have to be viewed in the light of political opportunism. His attempt to put the entire onus on the BJP government bypasses the fact that the event organisers were not able to manage the volume of the crowd. In that, he seems to be making political capital out of the tragedy to score a point against the government instead of being constructively part of the solution.


Conclusion


The Hathras stampede was an unfortunate incident that happened due to the gross negligence of the event organisers in handling the crowds. The Yogi Adityanath government rightly and promptly acted in the crisis. Now, Akhilesh Yadav's charges are not only a case of serious misreporting of facts but an attempt to politick at human tragedy. Instead, more stress should be laid upon accountability and systemic improvements instead of baseless political blame games.


Proper accountability lies in ensuring such incidents do not reoccur, strictly enforcing crowd control measures, and ensuring that safety regulations by the event organisers are enforced. We can avoid future tragedies and set due respect for the fallen if we undertake a constructive and fact-based approach to this issue.