Latching on to voices of dissent from within the BJP, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said on Wednesday that the “ill effects” of demonetisation were gradually becoming visible while traders were reeling under the “adverse impact” of GST.
The former chief minister was addressing a press conference, a day ahead of his party’s two-day national convention, where he is set to be re-elected the SP chief.
“Our fears over the note ban have come true. Now its ill effects are visible. Voices of dissent are emanating even from within the BJP on the issue,” he said. The SP chief’s comments come in the backdrop of BJP veteran Yashwant Sinha’s attack on the government over issues related to the economy.
“Traders are groaning under the adverse impact of GST. The government has betrayed the business class by launching GST with much fanfare. Business has come to a standstill, inflation is rising and traders are in a state of mental shock,” the former UP chief minister said.
He said the BJP had promised “achhe din” and wondered when those promised good days would come. “The BJP rakes up issues to divide the society. Its favourite issues are cow and cow dung, shamshan (cremation ground) and kabristan (burial grounds) and not development,” he claimed.
He claimed that the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh had brought in a budget that will halt development. “The government is only interested in ordering probes and more probes,” he said.
The SP chief referred to the death of scores of children in a Gorakhpur hospital and claimed that if in a state like Uttar Pradesh, “where children die, there are no job opportunities and development stops”, the country cannot march ahead. The country will progress only if UP develops, he said.
Akhilesh, who is set to be re-elected as the SP national chief for a five-year term, was asked to comment on his feuding uncle’s reported congratulatory phone call. “I got the benefit of my age and our relation. He (Shivpal) gave me blessings and congratulated me also,” he said.
On the possibility of his father Mulayam Singh Yadav attending the convention, he said, “I have personally invited him and seek his blessings again.”
Tomorrow the SP will hold its national convention, which sources said is expected to be attended by over 15,000 workers. Akhilesh will be formally coronated as the party’s national head for a period of five years to lead SP into the 2019 Lok Sabha and 2022 UP assembly polls.
To another question, he said the Samajwadi Party’s alliance with the Congress will continue. “Our friendship will remain,” he remarked referring to the tie-up between the two parties during the 2017 UP polls.
Mulayam Singh Yadav and his comrade-in-arms Shivpal were, however, conspicuous by their absence. They had also not attended the SP state meet in Lucknow last month.