Akhilesh Yadav’s swipe at Yogi

Akhilesh Yadav is widely seen as the only real challenger to the BJP in the 2022 UP elections (File)

Lucknow: Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday hit out at UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, with the BJP saying he will fight next month’s election from his stronghold in Gorakhpur.

“Earlier he used to say ‘he will fight from Ayodhya’ or ‘he will fight from Mathura’ or ‘he will fight from Prayagraj’… Now see… I like that BJP has already sent him (from chief) Minister) Gorakhpur. Yogi should stay there… there is no need for him to come from there.”

Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party has emerged as perhaps the biggest challenger to the BJP’s re-election in Uttar Pradesh, the former chief minister’s “rainbow” coalition of regional parties from eastern Uttar Pradesh (and, hopefully, of angry farmers from the West). Vote) are threatening. Throw out the ruling party.

Both – Mr. Yadav and Yogi Adityanath – have been locked in a bitter dispute over the past few weeks and months; Yesterday, the socialist leader hit out at his rival over his “80 vs 20” remark, which was widely interpreted as a sign of Hindu-Muslim proportions.

“Yogi Adityanath meant that the BJP would get ’20 per cent seats in UP, while the remaining 80 per cent would go to the Samajwadi Party’,” remarked Mr Yadav, as he welcomed the five ex-BJP MLAs – all of whom resigned this week. In an appropriately choreographed move – to his party.

All five are prominent OBC, or Other Backward Classes, leaders, and two – Swami Prasad Maurya and Dharam Singh Saini – were ministers in the Yogi Adityanath government (as of this week).

Apart from taking a dig at Yogi, Mr Yadav also presented his own version of events regarding the breakdown in seat-sharing talks with Chandrashekhar Azad’s Azad Samaj Party.

“He (Mr. Azad) came to me yesterday (and) said that he would contest the elections. I gave Ghaziabad and Rampur Maniharan seats after talking to the Lok Dal. Then he came after talking to someone on the phone and said that he Can’t fight. Whose call was that? Who conspired?” he declared.

Earlier today, Chandrashekhar Azad had hit out at Akhilesh Yadav after his failed alliance attempt, claiming that Samajwadi Party leaders “don’t want the support of Dalits”.

More importantly, Akhilesh Yadav also said that he “we will not take any other leader in the party”.

“That’s why now we are saying that we will not take any other leader in the Samajwadi Party… We sacrificed a lot to bring people together (but) now there is no scope to take anyone else,” he said.

Voting for the new government in seven phases in Uttar Pradesh is starting from February 10, the results of which will be out on March 10.

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