At his maiden rally in Gujarat in Patan district on Monday, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav blamed “some people” from the state for creating Muzaffarnagar riots. Hinting at Amit Shah, he said, “Some people from here (Gujarat) came to UP and tried to create riots and insult us. But UP has decided that we will stay united and fight these forces. Varanasi will vote for secular people… and it has already proved this by voting in huge numbers in the first phase.” BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is contesting from Varanasi, besides Vadodara, which goes to polls on May 11.
“Humne Gujarat main sirf shuruat ki hai, hum apna khaata kholne aaye hain (We have just begun in Gujarat and have come to open our account here)”, said Yadav, pitching for a Third Front-led government at the Centre, with his father Mulayam Singh Yadav having a bigger role in it.
“The Third Front is ready in different states like Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Orissa and Bihar as these regional parties will win maximum votes. If there is any one party which is running according to a secular outlook, it is SP,” he said. Calling Modi an “RSS-backed PM candidate”, Yadav said that a BJP government at the Centre would spoil India’s relations with its neighbours. Asked about the speculation of the BJP gaining in UP, he told reporters at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, before heading for Patan, that “it was the SP who had once stopped the BJP’s march in UP and it will happen again”.
According to Yadav, “The BJP had grown because of wrong policies of the Congress. It’s PM candidate is backed by RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal. I want to tell you that the people of UP will stop him (Modi) from becoming PM.”
About his father and former Defence Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, he said, “There has been no minister who maintained such good links with India’s neighbours as Netaji (Mulayam). BJP will spoil any relations India may have with her neighbours as they are good in breaking up things. Even they did not spare Gandhiji (Mahatma). Look at the history of organisations like the VHP and the RSS that back the BJP; they are known for disrupting and breaking up things.”
Taking potshots at Modi’s tea vendor roots, he said, “Chai ne hamesha gulaam banaya hai’’ (A cup of tea is the root of all slavery)”. Addressing the 2,000-odd people – consisting of Muslims, Thakore and Rabari communities – he said, “Your CM (Modi) is creating a hype out of making people drink tea. Tell me which political party does something like this? If we look back at India’s history, the Britishers started making slaves out of Indians by first getting us addicted to tea. The result is that today many people cannot begin their day without tea. continued…