Akhilesh on Congress alliance: ‘We don’t change our friends’
Earlier this week, Akhilesh had been quoted as saying that talks of alliances and seat negotiations “wasted a lot of time” and that he was “not thinking of an alliance with any party”.india Updated: Jan 11, 2018 23:36 IST
Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday attempted to clarify his remarks about a possible alliance with the Congress ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, saying he doesn’t “change friends” easily.
Earlier this week, Akhilesh had been quoted as saying that talks of alliances and seat negotiations “wasted a lot of time” and that he was “not thinking of an alliance with any party”.
When asked about the Congress, the Samajwadi Party’s (SP) ally in the 2017 assembly elections, and about his relationship with Congress president Rahul Gandhi, he said on Thursday: “The Samajwadi Party, especially I, do not change friends. When I make friends, I do it with a lot of wisdom because I’ve seen betrayals.”
Akhilesh, however, reiterated that his first priority was to strengthen the SP. “I want to do consolidation work, create new voters, firm up the party at the booth level. We cannot leave this basic work waiting for alliances to happen. We have to prepare ourselves for the fight at the ground level… Alliances will be discussed closer to the polls.”
He also attacked chief minister Yogi Adityanath, alleging that law and order in the state had worsened under the BJP regime.
Akhilesh asked the media to start calling Adityanath a “ladka (boy)”. “You call me and Rahul (Gandhi) ‘ladka’. Why don’t you call Yogi that?”
The 45-year-old Adityanath, on assuming power in March 2017, had stressed that he was a year younger than Rahul Gandhi, now 47, and a year older than Akhilesh, 44. Rahul and Akhilesh are often described as youth leaders.
First Published: Jan 11, 2018 23:36 IST