‘Good if netaji becomes PM, but not in the race’: Akhilesh Yadav
Akhilesh Yadav’s answer came in response to a question on whether Mulayam Singh Yadav would be a candidate for the post in an interview with ANI.Updated: May 03, 2019, 23:13 IST
Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav said on Friday that while it would “be good for (his father) netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) to get the honour” of being Prime Minister, he (Yadav Sr) was “probably not in the race” for the post.
His answer came in response to a question on whether Mulayam Singh Yadav would be a candidate for the post in an interview with ANI.
Yadav has previously said the country’s next PM would be from Uttar Pradesh; he is widely seen to be backing Mayawati, the leader of the Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP), the SP’s ally, for the post.
“Right now my focus is on increasing the party’s strength in the Parliament and a final decision as to who would become the PM would be taken only after the results are out on May 23,” he said, adding, “I can assure you that UP will play a crucial role in the formation of the government at the Centre.”
Yadav also added that the Mahagathbandhan, or the grand alliance of the SP, the BSP and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), would usher in a “New India” and a new Prime Minister.
Uttar Pradesh sends 80 representatives to the Lok Sabha. The BJP won 72 of these in 2014, and its ally won two. The state is also ruled by a BJP government and assembly elections are next due only in 2022.
Reacting to Yadav’s statement, UP BJP spokesperson Chandramohan said, “Akhilesh Yadav’s comment merely justifies whatever we have been saying. That despite their posturing, the SP and BSP don’t consider the alliance as any threat. Saying his father was not in the race for PM could mean any of the two things. Either he has already conceded defeat or is humiliating his father whom he so unceremoniously ousted to take over the reins of the party for he is also saying in the same breath that the PM will be from UP? We know he is right for Modiji is going to be PM again but he must tell whom has he in mind?”
Athar Hussain of the Centre for Objective Research and Development said, “I guess Akhilesh ji’s statement ruling Mulayam Singh ji out of the PM’s race is logical given MSY’s confession that this election is going to be his last. Age and health are not on MSY’s side. But yes, the statement could be open to misinterpretation and might provide BJP an opportunity to target him. It would have been better had this been avoided because election time is usually not the right time for straight talk.”