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India will have a PM from UP after 2019 elections, says Akhilesh Yadav

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav avoided a direct reply one whether he would back Rahul Gandhi or Mayawati for the post of Prime Minister.

india Updated: Jul 19, 2018 20:41 IST
Shruti Tomar
Shruti Tomar
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Rahul Gandhi,Prime Minister,Akhilesh Yadav
Samajwadi party president Akhilesh Yadav lashed out at the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre at a press conference in Bhopal, on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Mujeeb Faruqui/HT Photo)

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday said India will get a new prime minister (after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections) from Uttar Pradesh but avoided a direct reply on whether his party would support Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the top job.

“You will see a new prime minister after the elections,” he said when asked whether he would back Rahul Gandhi or Mayawati.

Yadav also lashed out at the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. “People want to see change as they are unhappy with policies and decisions of central government.” He said demonetisation, unemployment and the GST were some of the issues that have angered the people.

The SP chief hit back at the BJP for ridiculing the opposition’s unity efforts saying if Narendra Modi could become the prime minister heading an alliance of 47 political parties, there was no reason for why the ‘Mahagatbandhan’ (opposition’s grand alliance) cannot come to power at the Centre.

“The Samajwadi Party has taken the initiative and we are vigorously pursuing it,” he said.

On the question an alliance with the Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party in Madhya Pradesh, Yadav said, “We are having talks with several parties and I have a lot of respect for state Congress president Kamal Nath. However, I cannot share what we discussed.”

Yadav cited recent bypoll results to underline that alliances could be beneficial. “Congress won by by-elections in Ater in Bhind district and Chitrakoot in Satna district, thanks to the support it received from SP.”

The SP had carried out an assessment of all the 230 seats in Madhya Pradesh with the help of 51 observers and identified the areas in which they were strong, he said.

Yadav criticised the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh for its failure to tackle farm distress which pushed many farmers to commit suicide and also for the state’s poor record on women’s safety.

Later in the evening Yadav met Patidar leader Hardik Patel for over 90 minutes at the residence of Congress leader and former governor of Uttar Pradesh Aziz Qureshi . Patel told reporters after the meeting that he was campaigning against the BJP. He denied that he was asking for any seats in Madhya Pradesh. “When I did not ask for any seats in Gujarat, why will I ask for any seats here?” he asked.

Reacting to Yadav’s statement that there will be new prime minister and he will be from Uttar Pradesh, BJP state spokesperson Hitesh Bajpai said, “Akhilesh Yadav is right on one count. The Prime Minister will be from Uttar Pradesh. Modiji will win from Varanasi with a bigger majority and NDA will again come to power.”

Veteran journalist and political analyst Lajja Shankar Hardeniya was critical of Yadav remarks, “It smacks of regional arrogance. There is nothing on the ground, no seat sharing no common manifesto and he is talking about who will be prime minister. Such talk also against the spirit of coalition government.”

First Published: Jul 19, 2018 19:05 IST