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Exclusive interview | No tie-up with big parties, outfits that opened UP's doors for BJP now with us: Akhilesh Yadav

Exclusive interview | No tie-up with big parties, outfits that opened UP's doors for BJP now with us: Akhilesh Yadav
The Samajwadi Party will not have any alliance with bigger parties, including the Congress, and smaller outfits like that of Om Prakash Rajbhar who opened the doors for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh last time are now with him, former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav told News18 in an exclusive interview. He also said that the PM’s remark on ‘Lal Topi’ (the signature red cap of the SP) showed that the BJP feared it and explained that his contentious comment regarding “spending one’s last days in Varanasi" was pointed at the BJP government. Yadav also demanded that union minister of state for home Ajay Mishra Teni be removed, as investigators had established a conspiracy in the Lakhimpur case of farmers being mowed down involving the BJP leader’s son.
Edited excerpts…
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said people must beware of those in a Lal Topi as it stands for lawlessness and showing mercy to terrorists…
I don’t know whether the BJP understands the red colour or not. They are accepting that they fear the Lal Topi. Red is the colour of emotion and of revolution. Those who don’t have red colour in their life won’t understand it. Chunaree of Maa Durga is red, vermillion is red. Red is a vibrant colour. Red caps were worn by Jayaprakash Narayan who gave the slogan of Sampoorna Kranti, by Dr Ram Manohar Lohia and his disciples, by Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) and Brijbhushan Tiwari. These all are leaders who wore red caps and toiled hard for farmers, the poor, youngsters and minorities, and worked to gain respect for them. It is the need of the hour to save the Constitution from those who are trying to disrespect it. And we don’t just have red with us, we have Om Prakash Rajbhar ji’s yellow, and green colour. When these people come together, they will remove people who favour one colour from UP.
We will have no alliance with big parties. If you look at people with us like Om Prakash Rajbhar and others, it is they who opened the doors for the BJP (in UP). This time, not only did they close those doors but also fastened those doors with a latch.
The SIT in the Lakhimpur Kheri probe has said it was a well-planned conspiracy and charges have been added…
At least the investigation is now out and those accused have been found to be conspiring. There were questions raised on people and they still are part of the government (MoS home Ajay Mishra Teni). So, can you think of justice without removing them from their posts? These killings took us back to Jallianwala Bagh where people were shot from the front. Here, BJP leaders crushed farmers from behind. Today every section — be it traders or farmers — everyone is against the BJP, and the BJP will be decimated in these elections.
For whom was your Kashi comment meant — that people go there in their final days?
The question is not for whom it was said. Why do people go to Kashi? What is Kashi known for? Who hasn’t witnessed corpses floating in the Ganga? People were abandoned when they needed medicines and vaccinations (during the second wave of Covid). The BJP has the luxury of twisting anyone’s statement. Today, the biggest questions that are being asked are about unemployment, inflation, and not as to who will spend their last days in Kashi. Sarkar ke akhri din bache hain (The government is counting its final days). The Samajwadi Party is concerned about farmers, youngsters, inflation, unemployment, and these are issues for us.
You took a lot of digs at the Kashi events and one of them was on chief minister Yogi Adityanath not taking a dip in the Ganga. Why did you make that comment?
I got the information that the CM did not take a dip in the Ganga and I think I know why he didn’t do it. The rivers in UP and the filth in those rivers go into the Ganga, be it Kali river, Gomti river or also Yamuna river. So, the CM knew about it. UP has not seen the cleaning of rivers and that is why the CM didn’t take the dip. If this was known to the PM, he too should have raised this issue.
So do you think the CM doesn’t brief the PM on UP?
Double engine ki sarkaar ke engine takra rahein hai (The double engine government’s engines are colliding). We remember that their people had forced the CM to walk for miles and when that video became viral, the CM got his picture clicked with the PM. Why was it done? It was done because he had to walk.
Information and broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur told us that your government delayed projects for a long time…
Can the BJP deny that land acquisition for Kashi redevelopment began during the SP government? As far as Kashi Vishwanath Dham redevelopment is concerned, why was work on the Varuna river stopped? The Metro’s detailed project report (DPR) and budget were sanctioned by us. Why were the ghats not completed? The bridges that were built during Netaji’s (Mulayam Singh Yadav’s) time, the BJP is trying to take credit for. The BJP should tell me why it stopped projects that were initiated by the SP. We acquired land for AIIMS. The gas pipeline that was supposed to go up to Haldia was approved during our government’s tenure. We didn’t get no-objection certificates (NOCs) for Jewar and Firozabad airports. Had they been given, UP would have one more international airport.
Thakur also said you don’t respect elders and that he feels bad for Mulayam Singh Yadav.
The BJP should think about their elderly leaders first and then only should they raise fingers at others. They have senior leaders who were disrespected. No one knows where they are. They should look into the mirror and self-reflect.
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