Samajwadi Party (SP) patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday appealed to voters to support his ‘chhoti bahu’ (younger daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav) in the Uttar Pradesh assembly election.
He was speaking at his first public meeting for Aparna Yadav, the Samajwadi Party candidate from Lucknow Cantonment constituency. She is pitted against Rita Bahuguna Joshi, the BJP candidate who won the seat in the 2012 assembly election on the Congress ticket.
Addressing a gathering near Carriage and Wagon Workshop in Alambagh here, the senior Yadav said: “It is a matter of prestige for me. Aparna is my younger son’s wife. Please vote for her.”
He pleaded with people to keep his ‘honour’ intact.
Appealing to traders to support his younger daughter-in-law, he said: “At the request of traders, I had ended octroi and sales tax (when he was chief minister).”
He made the appeal four days before Lucknow goes to poll in the third phase on February 19.
He once again justified his decision to allow the police to open fire at kar sewaks in Ayodhya in 1990.
“I had to save the mosque to give a message to the Muslims that they were safe in the country,” said Mulayam Singh Yadav. The mosque was demolished two years later on December 6, 1992 when the BJP was in power in Uttar Pradesh.
The SP founder did not miss the opportunity to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Modi had promised to deposit Rs 15 lakh is every account. He has failed to do so. If not Rs 15 lakh, then he should at least have deposited Rs 5 lakh or Rs 2 lakh in every account,” said the SP leader.
An unkept promise is just like corruption, he said.
He asserted that he had always kept all the promises made to voters.
As the Lucknow Cantonment constituency has a large Sikh population, he listed steps taken by his previous government for Sikhs of Pilibhit and those living in Uttarakhand, when the hill state was part of Uttar Pradesh. Mulayam has had three terms as UP chief minister from 1989-91, 1993-95 and 2003-07.
“I had allotted land to Sikhs in Pilibhit and Uttarkhand (in undivided UP) who were devoid of ownership even after several years of cultivating land,” Mulayam Singh Yadav said.
He also assured railway employees that all their concerns would be addressed.
Prominent leaders of railway employees’ unions were present on the stage with Mulayam and Aparna.
The constituency has a large number of railway employees.
Targeting Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Aparna Yadav said: “One who cannot remain loyal to a party cannot be loyal to voters either.”
Hitting out at PM Modi on demonetisation, Aparna said: “Answer note bandhi with vote bandhi.”
She attacked the union government for doing little to keep the Ganga clean.
“Over 7.5 lakh drains are discharging sewage into the Ganga. One who is not loyal to Ganga, how will he remain loyal to you?” she asked.