UTTAR PRADESH Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday offered Prime Minister Narendra Modi various venues, including the house of Dalit infant ‘Khajanchi’, who was born in a bank queue in the aftermath of demonetisation, to hold a debate on work done by the state government and the Centre. Addressing a public meeting in Ayodhya in support of his Cabinet colleague and SP candidate Pawan Pandey, Akhilesh said he wants the PM to ask him (Akhilesh) about his works, but at the same time Modi should also tell people of UP about work the Central government has accomplished so far.
Akhilesh’s counter comes a day after Modi said in Bahraich that the UP chief minister and his ministers are not giving details of their work in public.
Akhilesh said Modi can choose any place for a debate — either the banks of the Ganga, which the Prime Minister had promised to have cleaned, or the area the SP government has developed along the Gomti in Lucknow. Akhilesh said he is ready for a debate in any Lohia village — or any place developed by the Centre.
“Agar aur kahin bahas nahin karna chahte to jo hamara Khajanchi jahan rehta hai…kam se kam usi ke gaon mein chal kar bahas kar lein. Is liye Ramvati (mother of Khajanchi) chahe to humse poochhe ki humne kya kaam kiya hai aur chahe to wo bata dein ki unhone kya kaam kiya (If he does not want to debate anywhere else, at least we can do that in Khajanchi’s village. Ramvati can ask me what the UP government has done, and can tell the PM what the Centre has done),” Akhilesh said.
Days after Modi had announced the demonetisation decision, Ramvati was waiting in a bank queue in Kanpur Dehat district when she underwent labour pain and delivered — locals named the infant Khajanchi (treasurer). Akhilesh Yadav had given the family Rs 2 lakh in aid on behalf of the state government.
On the recent exchange of comments of donkeys of Gujarat, the CM said that he had remarked only about an advertisement but did not expect the PM to become emotional on that. Akhilesh said he did not mind when Modi had mocked the Lucknow-Agra expressway and Lucknow Metro, inaugurated recently. He said Modi did not initiate a Metro Rail project in any part of Gujarat in his multiple terms as the chief minister.
About Modi’s comparison of power distribution, Akhilesh said, “The BJP should tell how discrimination can be done between Diwali and Ramzan.” He said his government gave electricity equally to people on Diwali, Ramzan, Christmas and other festivals. “Samajwadi Party does not speak about kabristan and shamshaan. We talk about laptops and smartphones,” he added.
Taking on the BSP chief, Akhilesh urged the people not to get swayed by his “bua” (aunt, referring to Mayawati) and alleged that the BSP had transferred its votes to the BJP in Lok Sabha elections, which resulted in BJP ending with a record haul and BSP drawing a blank. “You can keep cycle (SP’s poll symbol) in a small place, but where will you keep elephant (BSP symbol)? If elephant enters your house, it will crush everything,” he said.
Referring to the allegations of leaders who had defected to other parties from BSP, Akhilesh alleged that Mayawati’s party does not give election tickets without money.