Chief minister and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a joint road show in the city on Tuesday -- the last day of campaigning for the February 23 polls in Allahabad and 11 other districts.
“It has been almost three years now and people are still wondering what Modiji’s ‘Mann ki Baat’ is. Now, it’s time for him to do ‘Kaam Ki Baat’,” said while addressing a massive gathering of supporters and youth at the end of the road show.
The stage in Gol Park where Akhilesh and Rahul were originally scheduled to address the crowd, collapsed after dozens of party workers climbed on it. However, only two persons suffered minor injuries.
Rahul, too, flayed the PM. “Modiji is jittery over my friendship with Akhilesh and is resorting to his old ways of spreading hatred,” he said.
SP and Congress supporters -- college and university students and even women -- stood for hours on a hot and dusty day to display party flags and cheer the two leaders. Some had even decorated their terraces with balloons.
Enthusiastic youngsters even climbed on trees and terrace tops to shake hands with Akhilesh and Rahul as they passed standing atop a Mercedes bus. Some supporters had even decorated their terraces with balloons.
Amidst the playing of the song ‘UP ko yeh saath pasand hai’, some students displayed banners hailing Akhilesh even as security personnel struggled to control the crowd. Slogans like ‘’Jai Jai Akhilesh’, ‘Rahul Gandhi ke Jai ho’ rent the air.
The road show began an hour late from Balson Crossing. In line with the poll code of conduct, the road show stopped near Allahabad Junction station, instead of Gol Park, at 5pm. It was here that the two leaders addressed the huge gathering of supporters.