Updated: May 27, 2022 8:52:19 pm
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s speech in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Friday, on the Governor’s address, became a means for him to take on Leader of Opposition Akhilesh Yadav on Friday, with the subject being Shivpal Yadav.
So fulsome was Adityanath’s praise for Shivpal, including asking Akhilesh to learn about Ram Manohar Lohia from him, that Akhilesh shot back saying he was glad that his “chacha (uncle)” was now the CM’s “chaha” too.
Shivpal, whose animosity with nephew Akhilesh is again out in the open, post the Assembly elections, was only too glad to be the star of Friday’s clash. He professed being “overwhelmed” by Adityanath’s statement on Lohia, and uploaded a video of the operative part of the CM’s speech on his official social media account.
This was the second time in the space of days that the BJP government focused its attention in the Assembly on Akhilesh. Two days ago, after Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya and the SP chief had a heated exchange, Adityanath had advised Akhilesh to follow “decorum”.
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On Friday, Adityanath first referred to that exchange, remarking that he was surprised “to see the language used during election meetings being used inside the Assembly”.
He went on to point towards Akhilesh and Shivpal, sitting in the SP benches, and observed pointedly that “paas paas to hain, lekin sath sath nahin (they are close but not together)”.
Adityanath then went on to speak about his government’s efforts to get peace and security to the state and give it a “new identity”, going on to link that too to Shivpal. “I would like to thank Shivpalji as he recently distributed free tablets and smartphones (being given by the state government) to youth in his own constituency.”
As Shivpal broke into a rare smile in this session, the CM said it was sad that “Samajwad” had turned into “Mrigtishna (Mirage)”, a long way from Ram Manohar Lohia’s vision. He again brought in Shivpal here, saying it was the latter who had kept Lohia’s vision alive and said he read Shivpal’s writings on Lohia off and on.
Advising Akhilesh to follow suit, Adityanath added that with the decline of Samajwad, people of the state have accepted “Ram Rajya”.
Akhilesh countered saying: “Abhi tak humare chacha they, ab Neta Sadan (Yogi Adityanath) ke bhi chacha ho gaye (While he was my uncle so far, he is now uncle of the Leader of the House as well).”
Shivpal, who formed the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohiya) after parting ways with Akhilesh before the 2017 Assembly polls, returned to the SP and contested under the party’s symbol this time. However, he continues to be officially a PSP (L) leader, and has since the elections, been accusing the SP of “ignoring” him.
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