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Akhilesh Yadav attacks BJP’s ‘gai and gobar’ politics, says it’s spreading hate

Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav remained combative and said the Yogi Adityanath government was enjoying the fruit of the previous Samajwadi Party’s projects.

india Updated: Nov 11, 2017 21:19 IST
M Tariq Khan
M Tariq Khan
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Samajwadi Party national president and former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav at the Hindustan Shikhar Samagam in Lucknow on November 11, 2017.
Samajwadi Party national president and former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav at the Hindustan Shikhar Samagam in Lucknow on November 11, 2017. (Dheeraj Dhawan/HT Photo)

The BJP government led by Yogi Adityanath was only indulging in politics of “gai and gobar” and spreading religious hatred, former chief minister and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav said on Saturday.

He also accused the Adityanath government of taking credit for projects completed during the SP government, which was ousted from power in a BJP sweep earlier this year.

The BJP gave the slogan of making India fully digital but was actually into “gai and gobar” (cow and cow-dung), Yadav said in an apparent swipe at a series of steps taken by government to protect cows.

“Is this how you are going to take the country forward?” he asked at the Shikhar Samagam, an annual conclave organised by the Hindi daily Hindustan in Lucknow.

“It’s all about having the right aptitude. People have their own limitations and abilities. I will not be able to recite ‘mantras’ (hymns) if you ask me to do so. It’s as simple as that,” he said, in a reference to UP CM’s background as a temple priest.

He said the BJP government was allegedly taking credits for projects started and finished by the previous SP government.

“I was surprised when I read that the UP CM was about to inaugurate the newly-built women-cum-children hospital in Lucknow and a modern sports complex in Allahabad. These projects were already inaugurated by us,” he said.

The only thing that the Yogi government has done in the past eight months was to spread religious and caste hatred, Akhilesh said, adding his party would always oppose the BJP’s divisive politics and communal ideology in a democratic way.

“People now realise they were misled by pre-poll promises made to them by the BJP, be it the farmers’ loan waiver or development of the state. But in a democratic set up, people vote and elect or reject a government,” Yadav said.

“But as (socialist leader) Ram Manohar Lohia said ‘zinda qaum waqt aane ka intezaar nahi karti’ (people don’t wait for but bring about change). I am sure this change would be seen in upcoming Gujarat assembly elections,” he said.

Akhilesh admitted that a pre-poll feud in the Yadav family was one of the reasons for the party’s poll debacle in the assembly elections.

“The tussle was for the CM’s chair. ‘Lekin ab jab kursi he nahi hai to sab theek hai’ (It was a power tussle for the CM’s post but now everything is fine),” he added.

On the alliance with the Congress – which many blamed for the SP’s loss -- the former UP CM said he never changed his friends and the pact would continue. Be he refused to disclose any seat-sharing formula with the Congress for upcoming elections.

“That is a strategy which I would not like to disclose right now,” he said.

Demonetisation and GST, he said, were the two major factors for the country’s economic slowdown and had badly affected both the organised and unorganised sectors, drawing criticism from former PM and expert on the subject, Dr Manmohan Singh.

The reason why people, especially businessmen were not openly voicing their criticism and problems was because they apprehensive of a backlash in the form of Income Tax raids on their establishments from the Central government, if they spoke about it, he said.

The BJP, he said, had been muzzling all voices of political and ideological dissent and the manhandling of JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar at a function in Lucknow on Friday was an example of this.

On Gujarat’s Patidar leader Hardik Patel copying and re-tweeting his tweets, Akhilesh said, “It is good if you follow or copy someone you like or admire. I have not met him (Hardik) so far but would certainly like to meet him,” he added.

First Published: Nov 11, 2017 17:57 IST

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