Meetings with college friends and get-together at old hangouts are quite unusual for a chief minister touring another state. But not for Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav who is on a two-day visit to Karnataka. It is his first visit as chief minister and the 39-year-old leader does not want to miss out on his friends with whom he studied at Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering,Mysore,in the 90s.
Day one was packed with meetings with trade delegations and ministers in Bangalore. He also called on CM K Siddaramaiah whom he knows from his college days.
On Thursday evening,Praveen Singh,an engineering classmate of Akhilesh,turned up with the CMs friends at Siddaramaiahs office. Tomorrow we are going to Sweet and Spice,a students hangout we used to visit in Mysore. In the 90s,there were not too many places in Mysore and this one,on Kalidasa Road,was one of Akhileshs favourite, said Praveen Singh.
Meanwhile,Akhilesh,amidst his meetings with business delegates and ministers,took time out to briefly talk on efforts to revive the third front. All non-Congress and non-BJP parties are of the view that a third force needs to emerge in the country. The BJP and the Congress have failed on many fronts. Irrespective of what you call it,third force or third front or whatever,there is a need for it, Akhilesh said.
He said like in the past his father,Mulayam Singh Yadav,play a role in bringing together non-Congress and non-BJP parties on a common platform. You know netaji has always stood for issues pertaining to farmers,national security and secularism, Akhilesh said.
The UP chief minister was confident that the Modi magic of the BJP wont have an effect in UP. Modi does not know the grassroots of UP politics and people hardly know him. His magic only works on television and Gujarat, he said.
After his official engagements,Akhilesh will travel to Mysore where his friends are hosting a party. We are hosting a party for him tonight. Tomorrow he has a political rally in Channapatna (where SP has its only MLA). We then go to Mysore to his alma mater where an event has been organised and probably to some old hangouts, said Nataraj,Akhileshs college friend.
In his meeting with Siddaramaiah,who hails from Mysore,Akhilesh discussed co-operation between the two states and sought support for the constituency represented by C P Yogeshwara the only SP legislator in Karnataka.