FOR THE first time, Akhilesh Yadav acknowledged the possibility of the Samajwadi Party family feud damaging his election prospects. At a rally in Mainpuri, the SP chief and UP chief minister said he is confident that his candidates will win the seats there, but added he is not sure about “those in the neighbourhood”. Adjoining Mainpuri is Etawah, Shivpal Yadav’s stronghold. “Humein Mainpuri par poora bharosa hai. Ye humare saath hai. Magar ab bagal waale kuch gadbad kar jayein, to mai keh nahi sakta (I have full faith in Mainpuri… but if those in the neighbourhood get up to something, I am not sure,” Akhilesh said in Karhal of Mainpuri.
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It was one of a six rallies he addressed in Mainpuri and Etawah. He campaigned for all four SP candidates in Mainpuri, and for two out of three in Etawah, the exception being his uncle Shivpal in Jaswantnagar. In Etawah, Akhilesh said, the SP’s fight in the district is with the SP itself. “People are trying to scare SP workers in Etawah. Many have become rich thanks the party and now they are using that money to campaign against the SP itself. People of Etawah must teach a lesson to such people,” he said.
Akhilesh said he will not spare those who create differences between him and his father. He has been betrayed by someone he had trusted, he said in Etawah Sadar. He alleged that he was getting complaints about “some people” trying to campaign against the party. “Humse humari hi cycle chheen li gayi. Wo to humare vidhayako ke karan wo hume wapis mil gayi. Ab aise log stage se netao ka ashirwaad paa rahe hain jinki koi auqat nahi thi. Na chunav ke baad rahegi,” Akhilesh said.
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In both Mainpuri and Etawah, Akhilesh said the party belongs to Netaji. “Today, there is no confusion and I have no grievances against anyone,” he said. Akhilesh also responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s jibe for “sitting on the lap of the Congress” one of whose leaders had allegedly attacked his father in 1984. “Modi ji ko agar mujhe Congress se naraz hi karna tha, to 1984 yaad karane ki kya zaroorat thi… Wo hume Firozabad hi yaad dila dete.” In Firozabad, current UP Congress chief Raj Babbar had defeated Akhilesh’s wife Dimple in 2009. “All those things are past, this is a fresh beginning,” Akhilesh said.