Akhilesh Yadav has expressed fears over the working of anti-Romeo squads, even reckoning that he may not have got married had Yogi Adityanath been the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh when the Samajwadi Party leader tied the knot to his long-time lover Dimple Yadav. Akhilesh Yadav made the remarks during a press briefing on Saturday in Lucknow, where he also met fellow party leaders in what was Samajwadi Party’s first meeting after losing out to the BJP in the state polls.
“It is good that I got married before. Yogi Aditynatha’s anti-Romeo squads wouldn’t have let us get married now,” Yadav was quoted as saying by Hindi daily Jansatta.
The anti-Romeo squad is the brainchild of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and was one of the main campaign pledges of Narendra Modi’s party during the election campaign for the UP state polls. The vigilante squad comprises of cops drawn from local police units, with checking eve-teasing being a primary purpose.
Critics of the anti-Romeo squad, which include Akhilesh Yadav, have pointed out that consenting adult couples are also harassed by the cops who sometimes fail to distinguish between genuine lovers and women being molested. According to news reports, videos of cops rounding up and shaming young men who didn’t commit any misdemeanor have also surfaced on social media since Adityanath assumed power.
Jansatta notes that Akhilesh and Dimple dated for a while before getting married. The Yadav scion met Dimple at a friend’s house in Mysore where he was pursuing a course in environmental engineering at a local college. They concluded their love affair after Akhilesh returned from Australia after doing his Masters in Environmental Engineering from Sydney University.