Alliance with BSP, RLD final; seat-sharing no problem: Akhilesh Yadav

PTI Lucknow | Updated on January 18, 2019 Published on January 18, 2019

Akhilesh Yadav, President, Samajwadi Party(file photo)

The Samajwadi Party’s (SP) alliance with the BSP and the RLD was “final” and there would be no issues as regards seat-sharing in the coming Lok Sabha polls, party chief Akhilesh Yadav said on Friday, while ruling out any understanding with the Congress.

“Our alliance with the BSP, the RLD and smaller parties like the Nishad Party is final and seat-sharing will not be a problem. It will be worked out soon. We have emerged as a strong force in the state, which has changed the tone and tenor of the BJP, whose leaders have started using foul language against us,” the SP national president told PTI.

“Uttar Pradesh has always acted as a catalyst for change. This time, the people of the state will change the prime minister. Our fight is with the BJP and the people are supporting us,” Yadav said in an interview at the SP headquarters here. He, however, ducked the question as to who would be his choice as the next Prime Minister.

On the Congress

Maintaining that the SP will only “concentrate” in Uttar Pradesh, Yadav ruled out any understanding with the Congress in the state in the Lok Sabha polls. “How can we have an understanding with it (Congress)? It is a national party. We have given them two seats (Amethi and Raebareli), which the SP had been leaving for them. Presently, my focus is on Uttar Pradesh. In Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand also, the SP will field one or two candidates who are strong and we will explore (the possibility of an) alliance with others,” he said.

Reminded about his friendship with Congress President Rahul Gandhi (48), with whom he had given the “UP ke ladke” (boys from UP) slogan in the 2017 state Assembly polls, Yadav, who is three years younger to Gandhi, said, “I will not like to talk about the Congress as of now.”

Asked about his recent meeting with Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Jayant Chowdhury, he said, “Our alliance is final. In Kairana, we had fielded RLD leader Tabassum Hasan on an SP ticket. We will give Mathura and Baghpat to them, which they want. There is no problem in the alliance now.”

‘People fed up with BJP’

Asked about Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati’s charge that his uncle and Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party chief Shivpal Yadav was being financed by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Yadav preferred not to speak. “I will not say anything on this,” he said.

Announcing the SP-BSP tie-up at a press conference last week, Mayawati had claimed that the BJP had funded Shivpal’s party and said the entire money would go down the drain as there would be no split in the SP-BSP votes.

On the BJP, Yadav said, “It had promised many things, but those were never met. The common people are fed up with it and are looking at an alternative. They have only hope, which is the SP-BSP alliance.”

Attacking the saffron party, he said it had changed its Uttar Pradesh in-charge only to save one seat (of Prime Minister Narendra Modi).

“The BJP MPs did not work on the ground. They never visited their areas. Now it is being said that they are going to change 60 per cent of their candidates. But such tricks will not work now,” Yadav said. In a lighter vein, he added, “If only they can manage to control the stray cattle, they can get some votes of the farmers.”

On the claim of JP Nadda, the BJP’s poll in-charge for Uttar Pradesh, that the saffron party would win 74 Lok Sabha seats in the state, Yadav said, “They can claim of winning even 82 seats, despite the fact that Uttar Pradesh has only 80 seats.”

Nadda, the Union Health Minister, during his visit here this week had asserted that the BJP and its allies would bag at least 74 Lok Sabha seats, one more than the NDA tally in 2014, in Uttar Pradesh.

Political ‘gimmicks’

On reports of a slew of poll sops the Centre was planning to announce in its Budget, Yadav said, “All the major steps of the Centre like demonetisation, GST and claims of good governance have failed. They cannot be trusted. I want to alert my party workers that the BJP cannot be trusted. They can resort to any conspiracy or gimmick for political gains.”

On the ongoing Kumbh at Allahabad, the SP chief said, “They (BJP) have renamed the Ardh-Kumbh as Kumbh. At Kumbh, people are not invited. People themselves come to attend it to attain ‘Moksha’ (salvation). Are they calling people for Moksha?”

Asked about state Director General of Police (DGP) OP Singh’s claim that the crime rate was witnessing a downward trend in Uttar Pradesh, Yadav questioned the data. “The Centre’s data claims to have given jobs to the youth. Did they get those jobs? The law-and-order situation of the state is known to all. The lie will not work any longer,” he said.

On reports that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) might quiz him in connection with a mining scam, Yadav said, “I will answer them. These are the BJP’s tactics ahead of the polls.”

On the possibility of his wife and Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav contesting the Lok Sabha polls, the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said, “I do not want her to contest this time. However, the decision is hers. We have to bring up three children. The house is now far from the children’s school. How to manage their tuitions etc needs to be seen. They (the BJP government) have not approved the map for our house construction. They do not understand the responsibilities of a family as they do not have one,” Yadav said.

Published on January 18, 2019

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.