Need to study, says Akhilesh Yadav on Congress’s income plan, then slips in a dig
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has been careful not to run down a minimum income plan promised by Rahul Gandhi’s Congress, which had been his party’s ally in the 2017 state elections.Updated: Mar 26, 2019 21:02 IST
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has been careful not to run down a minimum income plan promised by Rahul Gandhi’s Congress, which had been his party’s ally in the 2017 state elections. Akhilesh Yadav, who is active on social media when it comes to taking potshots at the ruling BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, hasn’t spoken out against the scheme that Rahul Gandhi has variously described as a “surgical strike” and “final assault” on poverty.
Akhilesh Yadav didn’t go on the offensive against the scheme either when he was asked at a Press conference to announce the expansion of the alliance that started out with a tie-up between the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party. But he didn’t pass up the opportunity to take a swipe either.
“Earlier too, some people had promised to deposit Rs 15 lakh in bank accounts of all the citizens,” Yadav shot back when a reporter asked him about Gandhi’s poll promise.
WATCH | ‘Surgical strike on poverty’: Rahul Gandhi counters BJP on minimum income promise
It was a double-barreled attack, treating Gandhi’s minimum income promise on par with PM Narendra Modi’s 2014 promise to transfer Rs 15 lakh to the bank account of the poor once his government brings back black money lying abroad.
Akhilesh Yadav rubbed it in, insisting that “only the Samajwadi Party has been fulfilling promises”.
“Look at our laptop scheme. Laptops were promised and were given too… Samajwadi Party will bring ‘Samajwadi Package’ as a poll promise,” he said.
The SP boss went on to compare the toilets and houses built by the government during Congress and BJP regimes.
“Look at the toilets constructed by the Congress and BJP governments. Congress gave one pit toilets while BJP gave two pit toilets. And both have no water supply. How do people use those toilets?” he asked.
The BJP has been sharply critical of the Congress’s minimum income promise to be implemented in phases across the country if it comes to power. The Congress estimates the poorest 20% translates into 250 million people or 50 million households. It will cost Rs 3.6 lakh crore, around 2% of India’s GDP.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told a rally in Varanasi that the Congress’s promise to give up to Rs 72,000 annually to the poor was an eyewash and a mockery of the poor.