Updated: January 29, 2022 7:00:31 pm
Describing himself and his alliance partner Jayant Chaudhary, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief, as “sons of farmers who know very well their economic pains and tribulations”, Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav on Friday asked farmers to be wary of the BJP, alleging that the saffron party-led Centre had withdrawn the controversial farm laws only for the sake of votes.
The former chief minister assured farmers that if their alliance forms the government after winning the upcoming UP Assembly elections, they will not allow the implementation of any such “anti-farmer laws” in the state.
Addressing the first joint press conference with Jayant days after forging the SP-RLD alliance, Akhilesh claimed that the ruling BJP would be defeated in the UP polls. Taking a swipe at UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over the BJP’s decision to field him from his home turf Gorakhpur, he said, “Babaji (Adityanath) ka palayan ho chuka hai. Unhe BJP ne ghar bhej diya. Ab BJP ka UP se palayan hona hai (Adityanath has been sent back home by the BJP leadership. The only thing left now is the BJP’s exodus from UP.”
The SP chief reached the venue of the press conference here late by around three-and-half hours since, according to him, his chopper was not given clearance to fly from Dehli for reasons not told to him.
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In a Hindi tweet earlier in the day, Akhilesh posted a picture with a helicopter in the background, stating “My helicopter is still detained in Delhi without assigning any reason and not being allowed to go to Muzaffarnagar, whereas a top BJP leader has just flown from here. This is a desperate conspiracy of the losing BJP. People are understanding everything.”
He told the press conference that he was “thankful” to the person who somehow got permission for his chopper to take off for Muzaffarnagar.
With the polling around the corner, the BJP is reaching out to the Jat community in western UP from where Jats had taken part in significant numbers in the year-long farmers’ protest against the central farm laws on Delhi’s borders.
After Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with Jat leaders in Delhi on Wednesday, the BJP leaders even made overtures to the RLD president urging him to join hands with their party.
Reacting to the BJP’s proposal that its doors will remain open for Jayant even after the elections, Akhilesh said this reflected poorly on the state of the ruling party in UP ahead of elections.
On his part, Jayant said the RLD’s alliance with the SP is “solid” and aimed at furthering the cause of farmers.
“We are treading the path shown by my grandfather and former PM Chaudhary Charan Singh who always dreamt of ensuring enough income for the farmers so that they could be strengthened socially and politically,” he said.
The RLD chief appealed to government employees and state and central forces personnel not to hand over their voter and Aadhar cards to their superior officials. “We have got the information that the BJP may try to manage the postal ballots as they are not going to win at any cost unless they adopt fraudulent means in the elections. Vote with caution and do not trust your officers in this regard,” Jayant said.
Referring to the sugarcane farmers’ pending dues, which has emerged as a major poll issue in the western UP region, Akhilesh said if voted to power their government will set up a corpus fund to clear such dues. “We have already promised that the farmers will not have to wait for more than 15 days to get payment of their cane dues. The farmers will not have to agitate for dues of their produce.”
The SP chief avoided direct replies to questions related to issues such as “exodus” from Kairana, the BJP’s “propaganda” against Muslims and the SP not fielding any Muslim candidate from all the six assembly seats in Muzaffarnagar district. “The BJP leaders are raking up very old issues while we are aiming for a better UP…Jayant and I are sons of farmers and we know very well their economic pains and tribulations,“ he said. “Our alliance is here to wipe out the negativity which has spread during the five years of the Yogi government.”
Attacking the BJP, Akhilesh also charged, “I urge the BJP leaders that at least they should properly read their manifesto before any encounter with the people during elections. All the promises made by the party in its manifesto in 2017 (Assembly polls) and 2019 (Lok Sabha elections) have turned out to be false and all the advertisements they are releasing are nothing but a total lie.”
(WITH PTI INPUTS)
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