July 12, 2021 1:19:24 am
Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday alleged that the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh had hidden “the real death toll due to Covid-19”, and promised a death audit if his party comes to power next year following the Assembly elections.
“The government has not given correct figures for deaths due to Covid-19. They have not helped those who died and have not even given correct data. The government doesn’t want to give us the actual toll because they don’t want to help the people,” Akhilesh told reporters here.
He added, “A death audit will be done when our government comes, and those officers who hid numbers for Covid deaths will face action. There was a time during the pandemic when it seemed like UP did not have a government…people did not get beds in hospitals. They had to run from pillar to post for medicines and oxygen. During that period, the government was missing.”
Talking about the block Panchayat chief elections, Akhilesh said, “What we saw during elections…When people had to show their support, then SP candidates won the Zila Panchayat member posts, BDC election and even Pradhan elections. But the government had decided that it doesn’t care about the majority, or people’s choice. They tactfully rigged the elections. This kind of shamelessness in a democracy, no other government in the past has done it like the BJP has. The level of goondagardi [hooliganism] could not be imagined.”
The former CM also spoke about the incident of molestation in Lakhimpur Kheri of an SP candidate for the block panchayat chief poll, and her proposer. “The kind of humiliation the women faced was unimaginable. Those who were showing the people a dream that they will take society on a good path, they themselves misbehaved with our sisters. That too, just so that their candidate wins the block chief post.
Taking a dig at Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Akhilesh added, “They were eating laddoos [sweets] after smashing democracy to pieces. He can’t be a Yogi. If he was one, he would not make people suffer. There is a recording of what happened in Lakhimpur. I met both the sisters and I assured that them that the SP will stand with them.”
The SP president targeted the BJP’s central leadership, saying, “It doesn’t end here. Those who are sitting on a higher chair are congratulating when democracy is being shredded to pieces. Nothing can be more shameful. The people see everything and will take revenge in time.”
Taking a dig at the ruling party, Akhilesh said he felt bad that the BJP leadership and others did not congratulate district officials and police officers “who colluded with the party to help them win the elections”.
Responding to the SP chief’s remarks, Cabinet minister Sidharth Nath Singh said Akhilesh “has not been able to digest his defeat in the panchayat elections hence making weird and false allegations”.
Singh added, “The Samajwadi Party has always been a synonym of ‘rowdyism’ and ‘violence’ and it should first look at its own deeds. Frustrated by the defeat in the elections, Akhilesh Yadav is engaged in making baseless and ridiculous statements.”
The minister said the state government had effectively controlled the “unscrupulous SP elements trying to challenge the impartiality in the polls”, adding, “For this reason, the panchayat elections could be conducted peacefully in the state… The citizens of UP have full faith in the policies of the BJP government, and that’s why they have handed BJP a historic victory in the panchayat polls.”
At his press conference, Akhilesh also told the saffron party to tell people about the promises made in its manifesto, especially the promise to double the income of farmers. “They have thrown their own manifesto in the dustbin,” he added.
Akhilesh said his party’s manifesto for next year’s elections would contain resolutions for everyone, especially for the youth and farmers. “The people will defeat them. The BJP are not more powerful than the people,” he added.
Former BSP MLA from Agra’s Etmadpur, Dharampal Singh, and former BSP leader Kunwar Chand Vakil joined the SP at the press conference.
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