Akhilesh dubs scribe as criminal after row over ‘tonti chor’ remark

Bhopal: During a political visit to Ajaygarh on Friday, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav expressed dissatisfaction with a journalist who questioned him about being labeled a “Tonti Chor” (tap thief) by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in 2018.

In response to the journalist’s query, Yadav stated, “You are not a journalist. You are a BJP agent; what is your name? You wear such expensive fake Ray Ban glasses, you can’t be a journalist.”

Upon learning the journalist’s identity as Noor Qazi, Yadav remarked, “You are a Muslim. Do Muslims use such language? This is wrong. I don’t know whether you are a journalist or not… When I vacated the CM residence, the BJP had it washed with Gangajal.”

The controversy dates back to May 2018 when the Supreme Court directed Yadav to vacate his government-allotted residence. Since then, the BJP has taunted him with the ‘Tonti Chor’ remark, alleging missing amenities, including taps, when Yadav left the house in June of the same year. Yadav vehemently denies the accusations and accuses government officials of stealing items from the residence.

Expressing concerns, the Samajwadi Party has raised the issue of a potential imposter, posing as a journalist, attending its chief’s press meeting in the Panna assembly constituency. The party has urged the Madhya Pradesh Police to investigate the “criminal” who appeared at Akhilesh Yadav’s press conference in Ajaygarh.

Noor Qazi said, I will file a defamation case

Meanwhile, Noor Qazi says that he does journalism as a hobby and wears expensive glasses only for the hobby. But this does not mean that he has become an agent of BJP. As a journalist, when he had questioned Akhilesh Yadav, he should not have got angry. If he didn’t like the question he could have ignored it but he has made a very indecent comment. By tweeting he is calling me a criminal, while there is not even a single complaint against me in any police station or outpost. Noor Qazi says that he will file a defamation case against Akhilesh Yadav.

Akhilesh Yadav is actively engaged in campaigning for his party’s candidates in Madhya Pradesh, where elections for its 230 assembly seats are scheduled for November 17. Vote counting is set for December 3, alongside four other states.

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