The UPA government's scams could be responsible for the crashing of the Indian Air Force's Super Hercules aircraft and the recent sinking of naval vessels, suggested Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday.
"The UPA is a government of scams. Hope there wasn't any corruption in the procurement of the (Super Hercules) aircraft or its spares," said Akhilesh, addressing back-to-back rallies at Bulandshahr, Jyotibaphule Nagar and Bagpat.
The chief minister said recent accidents involving two naval submarines could also have occurred because of corruption.
"The Union government must address this crucial issue related to the defence forces. The country is shocked at the crash of the Hercules aircraft, but the government is unperturbed," Akhilesh said on the first day of his three-day whirlwind tour of western UP Lok Sabha constituencies.
"It is time to bid goodbye to the Congress-led UPA government while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a hollow party, will anyway face an embarrassing defeat. This will pave the way for the third-front government."
Akhilesh said people still remembered the armed forces when his father and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav was Union defence minister.
"Netaji (Mulayam) had launched several welfare schemes for the armed forces personnel. Even the tradition of sending martyrs' bodies to their homes came about only after a policy was initiated by him in this regard," he said.
Attacking the Congress over Imran Masood's comment on BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Akhilesh said the party was desperate to win seats but had selected the wrong candidates.
The UP chief minister also slammed Modi.
"Narendra Modi will not dare show his face in Uttar Pradesh after the Lok Sabha polls."
Akhilesh also dismissed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as an anarchist outfit.
Criticising AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, he said, "The man who ran away from Delhi's responsibilities in 49 days is not capable of running the country," said Akhilesh.
Of the three rallies addressed by Akhilesh on Saturday, the first one was in favour of Gautambuddh Nagar party candidate Narendra Bhati in Sikandrabad of Bulandshahr. The second rally was in support of Amroha candidate Humera Akhtar in Gadhmukteshwar and the third for Gulam Mohammed in Bagpat.