Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, who started his campaign with the Vijay Rath Yatra from Kanpur on October 12, spoke to CNN News18 at the Hamirpur Circuit House about his “big” agenda for poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.
Reminiscing about his experience in alliance politics, the former chief minister asserted that the Samajwadi Party will not have any tie-up with “bigger parties”. “I don’t think SP will have any alliance with Congress or BSP.” He also said the ruling “BJP knows SP is the real challenge” and therefore it is trying to create false perception about Congress increasing strength in Uttar Pradesh.
Excerpts from the interview:
What is this slogan – ‘change to cycle in 2022’?
We stand for change bringing relief to farmers, youth and people of UP. The BJP government has failed on every front of the promise it made in its manifesto. The way business and trade have collapsed, this Vijay Rath is to ensure justice to them. Samajwadi Party’s Vijay Rath will continuously move with masses.
What is the big agenda of your campaign?
Look at the way the farmers have been crushed. The farmer income has not increased… we promise a change in farmers’ life. Not a single new unit of power production has happened in the state. High power tariff is crushing the farmers and businesses. We promise changes in power reform and free electricity to farmers. Jobs for youth and putting UP on the growth path is our agenda. During the five years of BJP rule, Dalits and minorities have been humiliated and subjected to atrocities. Samajwadi party will undo this injustice.
You had once said that you are not looking forward to bigger parties. The leader of that bigger party is now very active in UP.
UP election is about the people of UP. People want change. In a democracy, every party has the right to campaign but people know whom to vote for. BJP should not hope much as people have already made up their mind.
But don’t you think trifurcation of non-BJP vote is a challenge?
The BJP should not be concerned about that. People have decided for change and they know whose government had actually done the work on the ground. SP is going to make a clean sweep.
In 2017 and 2019, you entered into an alliance. Are you keeping alliance options open now?
Our experience of alliances with bigger parties had been bitter. We therefore now look forward to bringing in smaller parties together and not the bigger ones.
Have all possibilities of alliances with Congress closed now?
I don’t think SP will have any alliance with Congress or BSP.
Ajay Mishra Teni’s resignation as a minister has not yet taken place.
I was the first to speak to the injured farmer leader. Samajwadi Party Farmers of UP have decided to wipe out the BJP and they see the hope in Samajwadi Party.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s detention, and then allowing Rahul Gandhi and her to visit Lakhimpur Kheri, don’t you think BJP is purposely giving projection to the Congress?
BJP’s strategy is being seen by the people. BJP knows that SP is the real challenge. And therefore they are trying to create confusion, create wrong perceptions. But all these strategies will fail.
With inputs from News18