By: Sarwar Alam
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday lashed out at the Congress over its “big ego” while continuing his attack on the BJP, suggesting that voters will walk away this time from the tea being offered by the ‘chaiwala’ prime minister Narendra Modi.
Mocking Modi at a public meeting in Hardoi, he said people voted for the ‘chaiwala’ in 2014. “As you know the taste of the tea now, will you vote for him again?” the Samajwadi Party president asked.
He also called the prime minister a prachar mantri, or a publicity minister.
At his Kanpur rally, Yadav sharpened his attack against the Congress, which has been kept out by the SP and the Bahujan Samaj Party from their alliance in Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha elections.
“Like the BJP, the Congress too believes in threatening political opponents,” he said.
“We had an alliance with the Congress, but found that their ego is too big,” Yadav said.
The SP had an understanding with the Congress during the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. In the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, the alliance of the SP, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal has shunned it.
However, the alliance decided not to field any candidate from Rae Bareli and Amethi, the bastions held by Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
“The Congress is not stopping the BJP, it’s the SP-BSP alliance which is stopping the BJP,” the SP leader said.
He accused the Congress of initiating a CBI probe against his father and SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav when it was in power at the Centre.
He claimed that a Congress activist was doing this even now.
The apparent reference was to Vishwanath Chaturvedi’s attempt to revive an old case, alleging amassing of disproportionate assets by the Yadav family.
Chaturvedi had sought a Supreme Court direction to the Central Bureau of Investigation to place the status report on a probe in the case against Mulayam Singh Yadav and his sons Akhilesh Yadav and Prateek Yadav.
“I want to alert you about the Congress also. It is a party which ditches (allies),” the former UP chief minister claimed.
Like the BJP, the Congress believes in threatening its political rivals. We don’t do politics of threats,” he said.
He asked people to give a befitting reply to Bharatiya Janata Party’s “note bandi” (demonetisation), which he said had ruined the economy, with “vote bandi”.
“The BJP is playing the divide and rule game of the British, he said in Hardoi.
They are creating divisions on the basis of caste and religion with the sole purpose of grabbing power. But the SP-BSP alliance will not let the BJP succeed in its designs,” he said.
Akhilesh Yadav asked if the alliance of three parties in Uttar Pradesh is ‘maha-milawat’ – the term used by Modi – what could “an alliance of 38 parties be called, he said in a reference to the BJP-led NDA.
Attacking Modi, Yadav said, “The nation needs a “pradhan mantri” (prime minister) and not a “prachar mantri” (publicity minister).”
Targeting UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, he said, “The `baba’ says had there been no Constitution, I would have been grazing buffaloes. What would he be doing if there was no Constitution? I will not say it as you all know.”
Yadav alleged that the BJP is misusing the Army for political gain.
“They say the borders are safe due to a strong prime minister. No, the borders are safe due to the Army men who are laying down their lives for the country. The Army is being used for political purposes.”
“The BJP can go to any extent to grab power,” he said.
Yadav also highlighted the work done in the state during his tenure as chief minister.