The nomination of papers for the block pramukh elections was marred by widespread violence on Thursday (July 8), according to reports from various districts, including Siddharthnagar, Sitapur, Gorakhpur, and Sambhal. The vast majority of the incidents occurred when opposition candidates were prevented from submitting their nomination papers to the Democratic Party. Mata Prasad Pandey, a former Speaker of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, was assaulted in the town of Siddharthnagar.
Several people were shot in Sitapur when an independent candidate, Munni Devi, arrived to file her nomination in Kamlapur. Three people were injured. They were preventing her from entering and unidentified individuals opened fire in the presence of law enforcement officers. Her supporters caused a commotion, and some individuals hurled crude bombs at her. In a show of solidarity, Munni Devi’s supporters shut down the highway.
Some miscreants snatched the nomination papers from the hands of former BSP minister Lalji Varma in Ambedkar Nagar, resulting in violent clashes between the two sides. “According to Varma, it was BJP leader Tejaswi Jaiswal who grabbed the papers, causing tension and clashes,” he explained.
In Kannauj, supporters of the SP and the BJP clashed. SP leaders have claimed that they are being prevented from filing nomination papers for political office. While filming the incident for a news channel, a journalist was assaulted and severely beaten. There have been reports of similar incidents in Fatehpur, where some people brandished firearms in front of the police and tore up the nomination papers of some candidates. Journalists were also subjected to physical abuse.
Sunil Kumar Sajan, a state legislator from Unnao, claimed that the police were actively working to prevent non-BJP candidates from filing nominations. “This is state-sponsored terrorism, which is in no way what one would expect in a democratic society. This is something we strongly condemn “he explained.