Apparently bowled over by the “love and affection” he received during his visit to Guntur on Sunday, Samajwadi Party leader and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav quipped that he might have to leave UP and relocate to Andhra Pradesh. “This is my first visit to AP, but people seem to recognise me well. You have shown a lot of love and affection towards me. I guess I will have to leave UP and relocate to AP,” the young leader said, addressing the Pratyeka Hoda Bharosa Sabha organised by the Congress party in Guntur on Sunday evening.
The crowd cheered whenever Akhilesh’s name was mentioned by other speakers as he remained the star attraction along with Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi. Akhilesh addressed the gathering for less than ten minutes and sounded overwhelmed by the crowd’s response to him. “I will not forget your love,” he said. “Rahul ji and we all came here for your well-being. We are asking for special category status (SCS) to AP from those who promised achhe din for the country. Modi ji, you said Make in India, Digital India, Clean India and the like. When will you make AP a developed state,” Akhilesh asked the prime minister.
Referring to the two main parties in AP, the SP leader said there was no better chance for them than the upcoming presidential election to press for the SCS. “If you vote, do it on the condition that the state be granted SCS,” he told them. SCS would bring in jobs for AP’s youths and better the lot of the farmers, he said. Pointing out that the ruling TDP’s (election) symbol was cycle like that of his own party, the SP leader, however, remarked that only Rahul (Gandhi) and he could ride it fast.
“We have all come together. This formation will become very formidable in future,” Akhilesh said, referring to the coming together of parties like the Congress, the Samajwadi Party, the JD (U), the DMK, the CPI, the RJD and others.