Kickstarting his party’s 2022 election campaign with a “Vijay Rath Yatra” from Kanpur on Tuesday, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav lashed out at Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, saying that after next year’s state elections both the “Baba Chief Minister” and his “bull and bulldozer” would be swept away.
The “bull and bulldozer” remark was a dig at the stray cattle seized by the government and the unauthorised properties it has demolished during its tenure.
“Yeh jo sarkar chal rahi hai yeh jo humara Baba Mukhyamantri hain..Yeh jane wale hain, laut ke nahi ane wale…Yeh Baba Mukhyamantri akele nahi jayenge, inke sath bull bhi chala jayega aur bulldozer bhi chala jayega… Jo Baba Mukhyamantri bulldozer leke ghum rahe hain [This government and our ‘Baba chief minister’ are going to go, and he is not going to go alone as the bull and bulldozer with which he roams will also go along with him],” Akhilesh told the gathering at Ghatampur, the first stop of the yatra after it began in Kanpur city.
Akhilesh’s estranged uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav also launched his 'Samajik Parivartan Yatra' from Vrindavan on Tuesday — amid confusion whether the two parties will join hands in next year's UP polls. Shivpal had recently said he would wait until October 11 for Akhilesh's response on a tie-up.
The former chief minister alleged that the BJP had “crushed farmers” — an apparent reference to the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3 — and would “crush the Constitution” as well if it returned to power in Uttar Pradesh next year. “Therefore, the Samajwadi Vijay Rath will go to people and throw the BJP out of power. This rath will go on continuously for restoring the rights and honour of farmers,” he said.
At the rally, former Congress MP from Akbarpur Raja Ram Pal, who is a former Ghatampur MLA, joined the SP.
Targeting the BJP over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which at least four farmers and a journalist were mowed down by a convoy of cars, one owned by Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra, Akhilesh said the ruling party had failed to remove the minister while his son was arrested only because of pressure from Opposition parties. The SP chief claimed his party would ensure justice for farmers.
Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi without naming him, Akhilesh said despite his and his party’s big claims, neither the Ganga nor its tributaries had been cleaned. Modi had started his 2014 Lok Sabha campaign from Varanasi by seeking the blessings of “Ma Ganga”.
Akhilesh said his party would soon release its poll manifesto and announced that his party, if elected to power, would bring back the freebies and social welfare schemes it had in place during its government tenure. Earlier in the day, he flagged off the yatra from the Ganga bridge in Kanpur.