CHIEF MINISTER Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday praised Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi by describing him as a “good human being”, and said he could forge a friendship with the Congress leader.
This comes a month after Rahul had described Akhilesh as a “theek ladka (a good boy)”. Addressing Congress workers in Lucknow on July 29, Rahul had said UP had “not progressed” in the 27 years that his party had been out of power. “You voted with your heart for a young chief minister (in the 2012 elections). Akhilesh theek ladka hai, but he failed to deliver what you wanted,” he had said.
Rahul, who has been targeting the Centre during his ongoing ‘Kisan Yatra’ in the poll-bound state, has only made veiled attacks on the SP government till now. On Thursday, when mediapersons asked Akhilesh about Rahul’s yatra, he said: “Main to yeh kahunga .. Rahul ji bahut achchey insan hain… bahut achchey ladke hain wo bhi. Aur Uttar Pradesh mein zyada aana chahiye aur zyada rehna chahiye…. aur, zyada jab koi rahega to hamari bhi dosti unse hogi. Isme aapatti nahin hogi kisi ko bhi. (I would say that Rahul is a very good person and he too is a very good boy. He should visit UP more and spend more time here. And, when someone would stay here more then we would also become friends. Nobody would object to it).”
“Do achche log mil jayein to kya kharab hai? Do achche logon ki dosti kya kharab baat hai? (What is wrong if two good persons meet. What is wrong if two good persons become friends)” he added. Asked if this “friendship” could lead to an alliance between the two parties, Akhilesh clarified that his remark was not political. “Aap isme rajniti kyun dekh rahe hain? (Why are you seeing politics in it)” he said.
He added that in Wednesday’s newspaper, he had seen a “cartoon of a farmer sitting under a cot, holding a smartphone to his ears and a bicycle appearing on a laptop screen placed before him”. Asked about people carrying away cots on bicycles from Rahul’s khaat sabhas, Akhilesh said: “At least bicycles (SP’s symbol) are being used for some purpose. If Samajwadis had taken away the cots, media would have said Samajwadi goonde had taken them away.”
Meanwhile, asked about state minister Azam Khan’s controversial comments on B R Ambedkar, Akhilesh said the issue should not be politicised. “In Uttar Pradesh, elections are nearing. No one should become thekedar of mahapurush (great personalities). You should not let them become thekedar of mahapurush,” he added.