Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday lashed out at the Congress for its “big ego” saying “their arrogance is more important than an alliance” and mocked Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying “voters will walk away this time from the tea being offered by the chaiwala PM”.
Addressing a rally in Kanpur, Akhilesh said, “We had an alliance with the Congress but found that their ego is too big… I did not know the Congress is arrogant and that for them, arrogance is more important than an alliance. I have said that the BJP and the Congress are the same.”
In Hardoi, Akhilesh said people voted for the “chaiwala” in 2014. “As you know the taste of the tea now, will you vote for him again?” the SP chief asked. He also called the prime minister a “prachar mantri”, or a publicity minister.
He also accused the Congress of not laying a solid foundation for the country. “Today, if there is unemployment and if factories are shutting down, the BJP and the Congress are to be equally blamed,” Akhilesh said.
Accusing the Congress of initiating a CBI probe against his father and SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav when it was in power at the Centre, Akhilesh claimed that a Congress activist was doing this even now.
“The person who has filed a PIL is Congress man. The same man was signing papers during Congress candidate’s nomination in Lucknow. Is this is how friends are supposed to be? Both the Congress and the BJP indulge in politics of intimidation,” Akhilesh added.
The apparent reference was to Congress worker Vishwanath Chaturvedi’s attempt to revive an old case, alleging amassing of disproportionate assets by the Yadav family.
Chaturvedi sought a Supreme Court direction to the CBI to place the status report on a probe in the case against Mulayam Singh Yadav and his sons Akhilesh Yadav and Prateek Yadav.
“I want to alert you about the Congress also. It is a party that ditches (allies)… Like the BJP, the Congress believes in threatening its political rivals. We don’t do politics of threats,” he said.
Speaking about tanneries in Kanpur, Akhilesh said, “Whenever there was an issue about environment, I had said I will pay for cleaning water even though I would have to take Rs 1,000 crore from the state’s teasury. Because people and families are dependent on them. These people used the excuse of cleaning the Ganga to stop the business… If India’s leather business declines, it goes to Pakistan and Bangladesh. These BJP leaders are helping Pakistan… I am not saying this, statistics say this.”
Taking a dig at the BJP for not fielding veteran BJP leader and MP Murli Manohar Joshi, Akhilesh said, “You had said you will remove the garbage from here, instead you removed the MP from here. What was the reason? A new one will contest.”
Speaking about BJP’s Bhopal candidate, Sadhvi Pragya, Akhilesh said, “What did she call a shaheed? She disrespected him. When he (former Maharashtra ATS chief) was martyred, then Gujarat CM helped him with Rs 1 crore as compensation. Why didn’t you help soldiers from Uttar Pradesh who died on duty. Like in Pulwama…”
Akhilesh also said that the BJP on one side claims it will be tough on terror but its “leaders go and eat kheer in Pakistan”.”I want to know if you ate kheer there or not?,” Akhilesh said and added that if the BJP comes back to power, they will take away the people’s right to vote.
He asked people to give a befitting reply to Bharatiya Janata Party’s “note bandi” (demonetisation), which he said had ruined the economy, with “vote bandi”.
“The BJP is playing the divide and rule game of the British,” he said in Hardoi. “They are creating divisions on the basis of caste and religion with the sole purpose of grabbing power. But the SP-BSP alliance will not let the BJP succeed in its designs,” he said.
Akhilesh Yadav asked if the alliance of three parties in Uttar Pradesh is ‘maha-milawat’ (the term used by Modi) what could “an alliance of 38 parties” be called, he said in a reference to the BJP-led NDA.
“The nation needs a “pradhan mantri” (prime minister) and not a “prachar mantri” (publicity minister),” he said.