EXCLUSIVE: SP+ May Cross 400 Mark In UP Polls 2022, says Akhilesh at News18 Event


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In the first exclusive interview after the model code of conduct came into effect, Samajwadi Party chief and former chief minister of the state Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday claimed that along with allies, SP may cross 400 seats in the upcoming UP assembly polls.

Speaking at the News18 Agenda Uttar Pradesh, in Lucknow, the SP chief also claimed the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could not deliver the promises made in its Sankalp Patra.

“I have got a copy of it with me, on the front page it has been written that farmers’ income will be doubled. When farmers see that inflation has doubled instead of their income, they will ask questions from the BJP. Their MPs and MLAs are being beaten by the public, they are not allowed inside villages. This is just the start, when people vote, they will wipe out the BJP,” said Yadav, at the opening session, ‘Bicycle Kitne Door Kitne Paas’.

“I am saying it again we may cross 400 seats with our allies. People of the state may give the SP and allies more than 400 seats. People are fed up with the BJP. The first phase is of farmers’ self-respect and they will wipe out the BJP for sure.”

On the question of being the lone star campaigner of SP in front of the BJP, which has a long list of star campaigners, Yadav said, “When people go to vote their priority will be electricity rates, pothole-free roads, stray animals, shortage of oxygen, etc. Even today I read a news article about a man dying after getting hurt in an accident by a stray animal.”

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On BJP’s digital plans, he said, “SP is the same party which distributed 18-20 lakh laptops. People who don’t know how to run laptops are now speaking about being digital. No matter how many digital experts they rope in, common man wants to see a change. The day the SP announced 300 units of free electricity, the BJP said they will slash power rates by 50%. It means they could have done it earlier, but they were looting people. The CM can’t even name a power plant. If the government helped in setting up power plants, people would have been getting free and better electricity…Even the Metro work in most of the cities was started by the SP government. How can the BJP lie when we laid the foundation stone, their MP and another senior leader was present on the spot? Why was HCL not promoted? It could have given thousands of jobs to people of the state.”

On the question of Lord Krishna coming in dreams, Yadav said, “Till now, BJP leaders were re-inaugurating our projects, now they have also started re-inaugurating the projects by the Mayawati government… What you will think about before sleeping, you will dream about. I revise my work and sleep. I am sure Baba CM will not be getting good sleep these days, he must be thinking that he could not give oxygen to people and have instead left ox on the roads. BJP leaders have cases against them, including Baba CM. The CM should see the NCRB data, aren’t there any custodial deaths, riots?

On the question of BJP leaders raising the Mathura issue, Yadav said, “The SP stands with the country and Constitution. The BJP raises these issues to get votes. We are now hearing that the CM should contest from here and there, someone said that Bhagwan came into his dream. However, in reality, no one is giving a ticket to the CM, he wants tickets, which is why he is getting those letters written by his people. I am ready to contest from whichever ticket my party gives me. As soon as the BJP got to know they were losing elections, they launched their own six rath yatras in reply to one yatra of the SP and all big leaders of the BJP started coming to UP.”

The BJP claims the SP now remembers the Hindu vote bank, but why didn’t Yadav take a dip in Kumbh? “The time SP was in power, Kumbh was organised on a smaller budget and even Harvard appreciated the effort. I went to meet the saints personally and took their blessings. I have bathed in Ganga ji many times, but not necessarily with a camera. The CM doesn’t know how to take a dip.”

Will Chacha Shivpal contest on your symbol? “All regional parties have come with us and they will contest on their own symbol.”

On Modi ji’s jibe on taking credit, he said, “I want to tell Modi ji the truth and don’t want to take credit. If the SP government hadn’t started the project, Modi ji wouldn’t have been able to inaugurate it. Baba CM promised Metro in Gorakhpur, he should tell us about its progress. The advertisements by the BJP government are full of lies, they show foreign spots instead of their own projects. They even lie in advertisements. Their story of development is hollow and fake.”

Has the BJP forced you to change your style of politics?

“The BJP has lied even in their Sankalp Patra. People thought they would see development. Youngsters thought they would get jobs. Big investment meets were done in Lucknow, but where is the investment? All they got are fake advertisements.”

ALSO READ | ‘IT Dept Will Contest Polls Now’: Akhilesh Yadav Reacts to Tax Raids on SP Leaders

“The SP could not counter the BJP’s fake propaganda in 2019, but now we are ready to shatter their lies. Time is strong and time is not with the BJP. They tried to raid a person making SP perfume, some officers sent the information to Delhi and they agreed upon raiding the person. However, they raided their own person instead and Rs200 crore cash was recovered. BJP’s IT cell chief tweeted a picture trying to link me with Piyush Jain.”

“I saw the news first in Amar Ujala that morning, after that I clarified that this is some other person but by then all channels had linked SP with the person who was raided. Wasn’t the same thing followed in Bengal? This was the fault of digital India, both the people were Mr P Jain, they lived in the same locality, both were in the same business. IT people were to reach Kannauj, but they reached Kanpur. Not just the PM but the HM, UP CM and many newspapers, channels published the incorrect news.”

What about PM security lapse in Punjab?

“The PM should have gone there and seen the empty chairs and should have told people why the black laws were brought in and why they were taken back. The PM has enough security already. The BJP removed the security of many other people. I would request farmers to let him reach the venue next time there are empty chairs. What happened makes it clear that people in PM’s security have failed in their own security arrangements.”

On BJP’s allegations of mafias joining the SP. “The BJP should tell why mafias were playing cricket and nothing was done.”

On statements by Owaisi about neglect of Muslims, he said, “SP has done whatever was required for Muslims, and even in times to come, development will be carried out with no bias. People of UP now see SP as the best option and we don’t think about what other parties are doing. There is no alliance with Owaisi, as there is no time left now.”

Explaining why they took small parties as allies, he said, “Our experience with bigger parties was not good, so we brought together small and regional parties.”

Clearing the air on claims that the SP will stop work on Ram Mandir, he said, “The construction work of the temple cannot be stopped by anyone, even if the BJP wants, they can’t stop it now. The SP is known for building things in record time. BJP leaders are carrying out a scam in Ayodhya; will they tell about fake registries being done by their leaders and officers?”

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