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Akhilesh says SP-BSP alliance intact, will benefit from Mayawati’s ‘age, experience’

The newfound friendship between the two archrivals seems to have hit a rough patch after BSP’s Bhim Rao Ambedkar last week lost the Rajya Sabha poll to BJP despite the backing of SP and the Congress.

india Updated: Mar 28, 2018 10:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Akhilesh yadav,Mayawati,SP-BSP
A poster is seen with BSP supremo Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, celebrating their win in Phulpur and Gorakhpur bypoll elections, outside SP office in Lucknow.(PTI Phto)

Samajwadi Party (SP) president and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has said he would seek “benefit of age and experience” from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati and would be generous when the occasion arises.

The newfound friendship between the two archrivals seems to have hit a rough patch after BSP’s Bhim Rao Ambedkar last week lost the Rajya Sabha poll to BJP despite the backing of SP and the Congress.

“I will take the benefit of age and experience and show a large heart when the time comes,” Yadav said on Tuesday during a discussion on the state budget in the Vidhan Parishad.

His didn’t name Mayawati but the remarks were seen as a response to the BSP leader’s statement that the 44-year-old lacked political experience. “Had Akhilesh Yadav been mature enough, he would have focused on the victory of the BSP candidate more than his own candidate,” she said at a press conference after the Rajya Sabha loss.

The defeat of Ambedkar was a setback especially after the two parties had managed to embarrass the ruling BJP by winning the prestigious Gorakhpur and Phulpur assembly bypolls.

The BJP was upset over the SP-BSP joining hands and was trying to drive a wedge between the two partners but the alliance was going to stay, Yadav said. The Phulpur and Gorakhpur outcomes reflected the general mood in the country, he said.

While calling for a grand alliance to take on the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Mayawati on Monday asked party cadres to focus on the national election instead of bypolls, which virtually rules out a repeat of the SP-BSP tie-up in near future.

Speaking in the House, Yadav took on the state government over loan waiver, police encounters and other issues. Farmer suicides continued unchecked as the government had failed to fulfil its promise of writing off their debt. Twenty-seven farmers had killed themselves in Mahoba district alone, the SP leader said.

He was also dismissive of the recent investors’ meet, saying it was unlikely that the agreements that were signed would convert into real investment. “But I am happy that during the investors’ summit the Lucknow-Agra expressway that the SP government made was showcased as the country’s biggest road,” he said.

Yadav also raised concern over the spurt in gunfights involving police and criminals. Strengthening Dial 100 service, and not elimination of criminals, would instill a sense of security in people, he said, counting the police helpline among the biggest achievements of his government.

The campaign against exam cheats had led to the harassment of students and teachers, the former chief minister alleged. “Think of introducing open book exams using technology, many countries are doing this,” Yadav said.

Uttar Pradesh is notorious for mass copying and the Adityanath government installed CCTVs in a large of number of exam halls and tightened screening for recent school board examinations.

More than 500,000 students left the exams for Class 10 and 12 midway or in the first two days due to the crackdown, officials have said.

First Published: Mar 28, 2018 10:16 IST