Akhilesh Yadav extends support to Mamata Banerjee ahead of Bengal polls
Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav said on Monday his party would back the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the upcoming West Bengal assembly elections, saying he wanted to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
"We will support Mamata Banerjee in the West Bengal assembly elections to defeat the BJP which wants to win by spreading hatred. In 2017 as well, they won in Uttar Pradesh by propagating hatred," Yadav said as quoted by news agency ANI.
The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister has always been a staunch critic of the BJP, alleging that the party had used hatred to win in the 2017 UP assembly elections. He has even said that any vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) launched while the BJP is in power was untrustworthy.
Yadav has already once declared his support for the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC in the upcoming West Bengal polls earlier in January. He had said that the BJP was trying to polarise voters for electoral gains. "We are against BJP’s attempts to polarise the elections, so we have decided to support the Trinamool Congress," he had said.
The 2021 West Bengal assembly elections are all set to be held during the months of April and May this year and the BJP wants to come to power in the eastern state. Several senior leaders, like Suvendu Adhikari, from the ruling TMC have swapped sides and Banerjee faces the toughest election of her decade-long tenure in the state.
The BJP had managed to emerge as the second-largest party in the state in the 2019 general elections and after a win in Bihar, confidence in the party's camp is high. BJP leaders like Amit Shah, Kailash Vijayvargiya and JP Nadda are set to visit the state ahead of the polls.
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- The ECI around 4:30 pm on Friday announced the poll dates for four states, including West Bengal, and the UT of Puducherry. With the announcement of the polls the MCC came into force barring any new announcements by the government.
- The model code of conduct, which comes into effect immediately after poll dates are announced by the Election Commission, prohibits governments from making any welfare announcements
- The Union government has announced that in the second phase of vaccination, people over the age of 60 years and those below 60 but above 40 and with co-morbidities will be vaccinated.