“Even if the Bharatiya Janta Party candidates do 700 sit-ups, farmers will not forgive them for the 700 deaths during the farmers’ agitation,” said Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav at an election meeting in Aligarh on Friday.
Once again exuding confidence, he appealed to the voters to bring the party of “multiple hues” to power in Uttar Pradesh, this Holi.
Observers said the statement was in response to the narrative being built by the BJP in west U.P. where it is propagating that this year people should decide whether they want to play Holi for a full day or half-day, as this year Holi will be celebrated on a Friday.
“We are giving representation to different social groups and communities. The BJP also attempted it but people have realised that it is a party that swindles. Yeh jhansa party hai,” he said.
Seven seats of the district will vote in the first round on February 10. In 2017, the BJP swept all the seats with comfortable margins. This time, the SP has left three seats for its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal.
“The moment you see the electricity bill, you get current,” said Mr. Yadav, raising the issue of high electricity tariff in rural areas. “If the BJP government could slash the tariffs just before the elections, they could have done it earlier as well. This shows their malafide intention.”
Mr. Yadav said, when the BJP leaders come to the door, people should show them the empty cylinder as they have no money to refill it.
Speaking in the city of locks, Mr. Yadav appealed to the people to “shut the doors on the BJP and put an Aligarh lock on it.”
Speaking to reporters, Mr. Yadav described the BJP as a party of liars. “Though it is an unparliamentary word, I must say in the BJP, the bigger the leader, the bigger lie he speaks. They have not been able to fulfill the promises made to the poor and farmers in the election manifesto.”
Once again targeting CM Yogi Adityanath for his belligerent tone, Mr. Yadav said, “If he is feeling so much heat in West U.P., he could return to Uttarakhand where he originally belongs.”
When asked about the BJP’s charge on SP for indulging in the politics of appeasement, Mr. Yadav said, during his rule, laptops were distributed in both Sanskrit schools and madrasas. “Samajwadis are progressive people. Secular and socialist are words that define the preamble of our Constitution. It is the BJP that has no respect for democracy and the Constitution.”
Reiterating his promise of restoring the old pension scheme, Mr. Yadav said he would create a separate corpus fund to make the scheme financially feasible.
Speaking to a cross-section of people revealed that inflation, unemployment, poor roads and traffic jams are some of the issues that concern them in the proposed smart city. Ramesh Pal, a daily wager from Harduaganj said, “Issues are there. We suffered during the COVID but the government took good care of us by providing free ration. Namak khaya hai, vote to dena padega,” he said.
Deepak Kumar, an electrician in the Kwarsi area said, the BJP could not get away by saying that it provided round-the-clock electricity and gas cylinder, when “we can’t afford to pay for them. Dhanda chaupat ho gaya hai (There is no business).”