There is no difference between the Congress and BJP, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said in an explosive interview with news agency ANI.
Reacting to allegations that the SP-BSP-RLD coalition is a ‘B-team’ of the Congress, Akhilesh said, “There is no difference between the BJP and the Congress. Congress wants to benefit the BJP. Who taught the central agencies to intimidate Opposition leaders? BJP has learnt to misuse the ED, Central Bureau of Investigation and other agencies against leaders in opposition from the Congress.”
Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Polling schedule, results date, constituency-wise results, how to check live counting
The SP chief also rubbished Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s claim that the BJP controls the grand alliance. “No one controls us. We are political parties. It is the SP, BSP & RLD alliance in UP that is poised to give a setback to the ruling party. Our alliance will stop the bad policies of BJP,” he said.
The Congress and SP-BSP-RLD are contesting Lok Sabha elections in UP separately after the parties failed to stitch up an alliance .
Akhilesh also said that he doesn’t believe the Congress has fielded weak candidates anywhere and they are making excuses because people are not with them.
“I don’t believe that Congress has fielded weak candidates anywhere. No party does it. People are not with them. That is why they are making excuses,” he told news agency ANI.
On Tuesday, Priyanka had said, “My strategy is very clear. Congress will win on the seats where our candidates are strong. Where our candidates are slightly lightweight, they will cut into BJP’s vote share. The BJP will suffer a major setback in Uttar Pradesh. It will lose very badly.”
When asked if his father Mulayam Singh Yadav will be a PM candidate of the mahagathbandhan (grand alliance), Akhilesh said, “Our alliance wants to give India a new PM. Party will decide about the PM when final seat tally is out. It’ll be good if Netaji gets the honour (to be PM) but I feel he is probably not in the prime ministerial race.”
“I want to increase the number of SP MPs in the Lok Sabha. I want to be among those who want to make a new Prime Minister. I want UP to contribute in the next government formation,” he added.
The former UP CM also said that the BJP has failed on the national security front. “BJP has failed so far as the national security is concerned. Our soldiers are dying on the border and in the Naxal affected areas. BJP talks about soldiers. What type of national security is it when one soldier dies every day,” he said.
When asked whether national security will be one of the core agendas of the non-BJP government if formed at the Centre, Yadav said: “National security is the most important issue for any country. Regional parties are closer to the people. They have experience as well, given the fact that they have done a good job in the past. So they will deliver their best,” he added.
Akhilesh also said, “I ask the BJP people, who claim to be more patriotic – how many people from their families are in the Army. Like the BJP, we do not drumbeat our nationalism. If anyone asks me to do the parade, I can. I know when there are open and close lines and how to salute.”