October 26, 2021 4:00:48 am
Sharing the dais with Akhilesh Yadav, former BSP leaders Lalji Verma and Ram Achal Rajbhar on Monday announced that they would formally join Samajwadi Party at a public meeting on November 7.
Lalji Verma and Ram Achal Rajbhar were expelled from the BSP by party chief Mayawati in June this year for “indulging in anti-party activities” during the last panchayat polls in Uttar Pradesh.
While Verma is a five-time MLA from Katehri seat in Ambedkarnagar district, a BSP stronghold, Rajbhar is an MLA from Akbarpur. Rajbhar was earlier the state chief of the party. He has been a minister in BSP governments in the past, like Verma, a Kurmi leader.
Both had met Akhilesh in Lucknow last month, which they called a “courtesy meet”.
“I was in BSP for 25 years and Rajbhar was there for 35 years. We both were dedicated BSP workers and were expelled by Mayawati on June 3… I was down with Covid-19 when I was expelled from the BSP,” Verma told reporters at the SP headquarters here in the presence of Yadav.
“We are here to invite Akhilesh ji for ‘Satta Parivartan Janadesh’ rally in Ambedkar Nagar on November 7 wherein we, along with our supporters, will formally join SP,” he said, adding that in the past four months, he and Rajbhar reached to a conclusion that only SP is the alternative of BJP in Uttar Pradesh.
Welcoming the two former BSP leaders in the party fold, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said that with every passing day, the number of people joining his party has been increasing and added that his party’s only aim is to remove BJP from power.
The SP chief also hit out at the BJP over a host of issues, and claimed that the central government may repeal the three recent farm laws in view of the Assembly elections in UP and Punjab. “It could be possible that all three farm-related laws are repealed in view of the UP and Punjab elections, and new laws will be introduced after the elections,” Yadav said.
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating nine medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh, Yadav said that the BJP government was laying the foundation stones of several projects as it is sensing defeat in next year’s elections.
“Now, as elections are near and people are going to defeat them [the BJP], they are doing such events,” Yadav said when asked about the inauguration of medical colleges.
He asked why existing medical colleges “were not getting” funds and a medical university in the name of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was still not fully functional. The medical university functions from the ninth floor of the Ram Manohar Lohia Institute, which is also not getting due budget, he said.
He said, “Why are not medical colleges in Saharanpur, Budaun, Agra, Kanpur, Jaunpur, Firozabad, Jhansi, Banda, Azamgarh and even King George Medical University Lucknow getting funds? Where was the government when it had to ensure the availability of oxygen, beds, medicines and treatment to people during the second wave of coronavirus? It left people orphaned.”
The health infrastructure of the state collapsed during the second wave, he said.
Calling the Purvanchal Expressway as Samajwadi Purvanchal Expressway, the SP chief alleged that the BJP government altered the alignment of the expressway and compromised on the standards and parameters of Indian Road Congress to degrade the quality of the road. Akhilesh Yadav said that in order to reduce the cost of the project, road was being developed with a very poor riding quality.
— With PTI Inputs
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