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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Jinnah row: Read books again, Akhilesh Yadav to detractors

On Sunday, Akhilesh Yadav courted controversy when he named Jinnah, along with Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and Mahatma Gandhi, saying they had helped India achieve independence and never shied away from any struggle.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
Updated: November 7, 2021 2:50:11 am
Akhilesh YadavReferring to Adityanath's visit to Kairana, Yadav at a rally here said, “He (Adityanath) came and recalled exodus, the reality is that had there been no exodus of the Chief Minister from Uttarakhand, our five years would not have been wasted." (file photo)

Defending his recent remark on Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday hit out at his detractors, asking them to read history books again.

Last Sunday, Yadav had named Jinnah, along with Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and Mahatma Gandhi, saying they had helped India achieve Independence and never shied away from any struggle.

On a day when Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath slammed him again for his Jinnah remark, Yadav when asked by mediapersons here on Saturday about the BJP’s criticism, shot back: “Why should I say the context? I would say read the books again.”

On Adityanath’s comment that he is ready to contest polls from anywhere in the state, the SP chief said he should not do so as he is going out of power. “Now, ‘Baba Mukhyamantri’ should not contest the elections. He is going (out). Now, what has to be done with a person who is going out,” he said.

He also hit out at the BJP-led Central government over reduced excise duty on petrol and diesel, saying people have fully understood its “false game” of hiking the fuel prices by 200 per cent in the past seven years and then reducing them by 10 per cent now.

“Even if the BJP government reduces the price of petrol and diesel to zero, people will make them zero in the elections,” he added. When asked whether he will contest the upcoming elections, Yadav said the decision is for the party to make but indicated he is not averse to the idea, adding: “When we are in the election arena, how can we backtrack from contesting?”

He added that if he answers the question, the next question will be “which constituency?”

Yadav also downplayed the recent meeting between Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and RLD’s Jayant Chaudhary at Lucknow airport, saying, “There is nothing more to it than bumping into someone at a restaurant”.

The SP leader also chose to sidestep the question of any possible poll alliance between his party and RLD. “Why should I tell? You are a friend, but the problem is that through you, the BJP will come to know about it,” he said.

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