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Lok Sabha elections 2019: PM Modi badgers SP-BSP alliance in UP with ‘SARAB’ acronym, Cong responds

SP, BSP and RLD have joined hands to contest 78 of 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh.

india Updated: Mar 28, 2019 14:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Narendra Modi,PM Modi,Lok Sabha elections 2019
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a rally in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, on Thursday.(Twitter)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi began the BJP’s poll campaign in Uttar Pradesh with a mega rally in Meerut on Thursday. Modi targeted the coming together of Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal by calling it an opportunistic alliance.

“They have just changed the signboard, the shop remains the same,” said Modi. The Prime Minister, who said the people of India have made up their mind on who to vote for in 2019, asserted that Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati have nothing new to offer.

In a swipe at the SP-BSP combine, Modi said it seems they are in a hurry. The prime minister also compared the alliance to the Congress-SP tie-up that was stitched by Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi just before the 2017 UP assembly polls.

Watch: ‘Confused A-SAT with a theatre’: PM Modi’s jibe at Rahul Gandhi

“It didn’t take them much time to go from UP ke do ladke (Congress-SP alliance) to Bua Babua (SP-BSP). But changing the signboard doesn’t mean the shop is new,” PM Modi said.

He also coined an acronym ‘SARAB (alcohol’) for the Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal and Bahujan Samaj Party alliance and urged people to “stay away from ‘SARAB’ in the polls for the good health of Uttar Pradesh.”

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adfityanath came in for praise from the PM who said the law and order situation in India’s most populous state has improved since the BJP came to power. He also said there were many riots in UP during the rule of Samajwadi Party.

Randeep Surjewala of the Congress hit back at the prime minister within minutes, accusing PM Modi of lowering the standard of political discourse by comparing an alliance of three parties to alcohol. Surjewala said the Congress and Mayawati may have differences but he did refer to her as “Mayawatiji”.

Read more| Surgical strikes on land, sky and space, says PM Modi at Meerut rally

SP, BSP and RLD have joined hands in Uttar Pradesh to contest 78 of 80 Lok Sabha seats leaving out Amethi and Rae Bareli, represented by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi respectively. The alliance presents the biggest challenge to BJP in the state, where it had won 73 seats in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

The PM’s rally in Meerut was aimed at galvanising the BJP’s support base in the western Uttar Pradesh belt, which votes in the first phase of parliamentary polls.

First Published: Mar 28, 2019 13:49 IST