Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav feels that the days of caste-based politics in the state are over and now the two Ds -- development and demonetisation -- will work in favour of the Samajwadi Party (SP) in the upcoming assembly polls.
According to him, his family feud is no more a factor and all the issues have changed post demonetisation.
“That is a thing of past now. We are working together to win the elections. Issues have changed and post demonetisation, nobody remembers that (family feud) now. All the other issues have been left behind and demonetisation has emerged as the key issue,” he said.
He asserted that Uttar Pradesh will vote for his work, image and not on caste equations.
“Our work in the last five years and the problems people are facing due to demonetisation will lead us to victory in the upcoming elections. Jo kataarein ATM ke bahar lagi hai wo polling booth ke bahar lagegi (polling booths will see long queues like the ones outside ATMs,” Akhilesh said.
When asked whom he considered the bigger rival -- the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) -- he said the people of Uttar Pradesh had lost faith in both of them.
“The BJP has done nothing for Uttar Pradesh in the last two and a half years. The Prime Minister was elected from UP, the home minister and defence minister are also representing UP. They have maximum number of MPs from UP but they have given nothing to the state apart from Adarsh Gaon Yojna and nothing is happening on that front also,” he said.
“As far as BSP is concerned, people are not interested in getting elephants installed everywhere.”
His father and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has ruled out any pre-poll alliance with the Congress but Akhilesh said it will be premature to predict anything as of now.
“Of course, the party president will take a call on that but I believe that we will get 300 plus seats if we enter into a pre-poll alliance with the Congress... There is still time for the elections and you must wait and watch. Politics is full of surprises and you never know what will happen tomorrow,” he added.
“I do not have any doubt on getting an absolute majority but we can get 300 plus seats if we fight together. Samajwadis believe that the Congress is their best friend when it is weak,” the chief minister said.