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Home / India News / To Amit Shah’s debate challenge, Akhilesh Yadav says will be there. Then a twist

To Amit Shah’s debate challenge, Akhilesh Yadav says will be there. Then a twist

Akhilesh accused the BJP of digging out divisive issues to divert country’s attention from the real issues.

india Updated: Jan 22, 2020 20:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav addresses a party function for new members, in Lucknow on January 18.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav addresses a party function for new members, in Lucknow on January 18. (PTI Photo)

A day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah challenged Opposition leaders to debate over Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA at a rally in Lucknow, Samajwadi Party (SP) president and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday retorted by saying he was ready to debate with the BJP but the issue, he added, would be development.

Talking to mediapersons after offering tributes to the party icon and socialist Janeshwar Mishra on his 10th death anniversary, he said, “Let the BJP decide on the place and the time for the debate and I will reach there. But the topic of debate will be development, employment, youth, farmers etc,” he stressed.

Remembering Mishra, he said, “Junior Lohia always worked for social equality and the party will continue to follow the path shown by him.”

ALSO WATCH | Akhilesh Yadav counters Amit Shah; says let’s have a debate on development

Akhilesh accused the BJP of digging out divisive issues to divert country’s attention from the real issues.

Shah on Tuesday had challenged Akhilesh Yadav, Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee and other leaders of Opposition parties to hold a debate over CAA.

Referring to Shah’s remarks, the former CM said the kind of language used by the BJP leader did not behove a politician. He pointed out the SP was not the only party to oppose the CAA but even common citizens, including women and children, were on roads against the ‘discriminatory’ law.

“How long will the BJP continue to discriminate against citizens on the basis of religion?” Yadav questioned and said, “The BJP cannot quell people’s voice by dint of its brute majority.”

Reiterating the demand for a caste census in the country, the SP chief said that the BJP was not ready for this because a caste census, he claimed would put an end to Hindu-Muslim conflict.