Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav found himself in an awkward situation Sunday when a woman and her two-year-old son — who was the face of his anti-demonetisation campaign in 2017 — skipped a meeting with him at Kanpur Dehat’s Sardarpur village. The former chief minister had gone there to gift Khajanchi and his mother Sarvesha, who had given birth to him while standing in queue outside a bank during demonetisation, two furnished houses for his second birthday.
Speaking to mediapersons the previous day, Sarvesha had refused to come to Sardarpur, her in-laws’ village, claiming they would beat her. She now stays in a hut in Anandpur, where her parents also live. Her husband had died a few years ago.
Since his move to Anandpur a few months ago, both villages had been been staking claim on Khajanchi and any other future development projects planned in his name, but Sarvesha had told media that whoever wanted to help or visit the boy — who was born on December 2, 2016 — must come to her maternal village.
Speaking in Sadarpur village Sunday, Akhilesh said, “Humein kya pata dadi aur nani mein hi jhagra hai… (We didn’t know there is a conflict between his maternal and paternal homes).” Khajanchi’s grandmother was present during the former CM’s visit, but it is unclear whether the house was handed over to her.
“Akhileshji has gifted her (Sarvesha) two furnished houses with two rooms each at her in-laws’ as well as her maternal village. We will not interfere in their internal matters. It is upto her to decide where she wants to live,” said SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary. He had also given Khajanchi Rs 2 lakh financial assistance earlier.
Calling demonetisation a “betrayal”, the SP chief said, “BJP had said that the move would finish corruption and black money.” At the public meeting, he also promised houses for the poor worth Rs 5 lakh, as well as to fulfil his pledge of giving mobile phones as well as Rs 2,000 pension to women, if his government returns to power.
Akhilesh further alleged that “fake encounters” were taking place in the state, with “fake criminals” being shot while police were showing “fake gunshot wounds”.
He said it is not just the Opposition that is raising the issue but the NHRC and courts as well, claiming that no other government had been issued so many notices for “fake encounters”.