Ready to be a part of any national coalition against BJP, says Akhilesh | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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Ready to be a part of any national coalition against BJP, says Akhilesh

The statement comes a day after BSP chief Mayawati said she is open to alliance with any party. Yadav has also met West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee four days ago.

lucknow Updated: Apr 15, 2017 16:07 IST
M Tariq Khan
Samajwadi Party national president Akhilesh Yadav addressing a  press conference at the party office in Lucknow on Saturday.
Samajwadi Party national president Akhilesh Yadav addressing a press conference at the party office in Lucknow on Saturday.(Subhankar Chakraborty/ HT Photo)

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday said he was willing to be a part of any national coalition against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The statement comes a day after Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said she was open to alliance with any party. Yadav had also met West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee four days ago.

“The SP will play an important role in the formation of such an alliance. I have met all the party nominees who contested the UP assembly elections. My assessment is that the BJP managed to polarise voters on religious and caste lines and won the election by making false promises,” he said.

Akhilesh was talking to media persons at the launch of the party’s three-month long membership drive at the SP headquarters in Lucknow in which he, along with wife Dimple Yadav, took the membership of the party.

Criticising the ruling BJP government in the state for indulging in politics in the name of religion, he said: “Perhaps, the BJP thinks I am not a Hindu anymore. The situation is such that I have to now tweet a photo every time I visit a temple.”

Yadav said he never believed in the politics of appeasement, caste of religion and added his wife also came from a different caste.

On the party’s poor showing at the hustings, he said, “Some of our voters are still trying to figure out how the BJP won even though they voted for the SP.”

“It is for the Election Commission (EC) to explain complaints against faulty EVMs,” he said.

Reiterating the party’s demand to go back to the old system of ballot papers, Yadav said he was with all non-BJP parties which met the EC on the issue.

Read more: Why PM Narendra Modi would love to see a united Opposition in 2019 | Opinion

“People have lost trust in EVMs. Even the EC has admitted that some machines were not properly calibrated and there was a fault in their software. The commission should reveal the names of the companies that programmed and supplied EVMs,” he said.

Attacking the BJP government for its anti-Romeo drive, Yadav said innocent people were being beaten up and insulted by the squads. “Romeo ke chakkar mein kitne pit rahe hain, kitne apmaanit ho rahein hain. Inko pata bhi hai Romeo kaun tha? (Many people are getting beaten up and insulted by the anti-Romeo squad. Do they (BJP) even know who Romeo was?),” he asked.

On meat ban, the former CM dared the BJP to reveal the names of the owners of all big meat processing houses in the country.

“They showed the pictures of only some Muslim owners of slaughter houses, who had come to meet the CM. Let the BJP reveal the names of non-Muslims in meat business,” he said.

Yadav accused the BJP of adopting double standards on the issue in Goa, Karnataka and other north-east states where there was no ban on meat.

The SP has 1.44 lakh active members, whose three-year membership expires on June 30. The party has now extended the membership tenure to five years and Akhilesh, who took over as the national president on January 1 this year, said elections to the post of party chief would be held before September 2017.

Read more: Rattled by 2017 poll rout, Mayawati opens BSP horizons to alliance options