In his maiden visit to Guajrat, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav blamed “some people” from the BJP-ruled state for creating riots in his state.
Apparently hinting at the Muzaffarnagar riots, 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”.
The BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is contesting from Varanasi, apart from 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)”, said Yadav pitching for a third-front at the Centre and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav having a bigger role in it.
“The third front is ready in different states like Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Odisha and Bihar as these regional parties will win maximum votes in this elections.If there is any one party which is running according to a secular outlook then that is SP,” said Akhilesh.
Calling Modi an “RSS backed PM candidate” Yadav said that a BJP government at the Centre would spoil India’s relations with its neighbours. Interacting with reporters at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad before heading for Patan, Yadav when asked about the speculation of BJP gaining in UP said, “It was the SP who had once stopped BJP’s march in UP and it will happen again”.
According to Yadav, “BJP had grown because of wrong policies of the Congress. Its PM candidate is backed by RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal. I want to tell you that 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 VHP and 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” (That cup of tea is the root of all slavery)”.
Speaking to a 2000-odd crowd consisting of Muslims, Thakore and Rabari communities, the SP leader said, “Tea has always made slaves of Indians. 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 into 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. However, I’m from a place where the paan is more symbolic and we have fielded a strong candidate (Kailash Prasad Chaurasia), who has paanwala roots from Varanasi against him (Modi).”
Comparing Modi to a guest who keeps coming to UP, Yadav said that he was returning the favour by visiting Gujarat. He said, “Where is the money for your CM’s huge political campaign coming from? This is Gujarat’s money, which he is spending on all these campaigns.
While rubbishing the Gujarat development model he said, “BJP ke log chalu hai (BJP leaders are cunning). They made people believe that idols could drink milk, therefore people should refrain from them.”
Replying to a question on the Asiatic lions that the Gujarat government had given UP, Yadav said that he had kept the lions in a 300 acre cage “…and if Modi was so worried about them, he should have dropped by to see them when he came to Etah”. He claimed that his government had asked for ten lions but got only six.
Mocking Modi’s development claims he said, “Did Amul come up in Modi’s tenure in the last ten years? It was envisioned by Varghese Kurien and now Amul is coming to one of the biggest milk markets, which is UP. Let your CM stop Amul from coming to UP if he wants to!”
From employment to the state of education of Muslims and farmers in Gujarat, the youngest CM in the country enlisted several initiatives the SP government has taken in its two year tenure at UP at the rally.
“There is this incorrect hype that is being propagated by your CM that Gujarat has generated jobs. Gujarat is lagging behind UP in creating jobs as per official government figures. The most distressed farmers are the ones from Gujarat, who pay a steep price for electricity and for selling their products.
“Are the farmers happy here? Do they get free water for farming; in UP it is free. Your government has given cultivable land to industries, whereas you will not find a single such instance in UP. Have any students got laptops or computers here? We have distributed around 15 lakh laptops in two years and done a lot of work for the education of the girl child.
“Can your CM show any laptops distributed here? Even unemployed youth in our state get Rs 1000 from the government.”
(With inputs from Satish Jha)