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As Modi slips into poll mode in UP, Akhilesh waits for monsoon to get over

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a whirlwind campaign in Uttar Pradesh these days but one of his biggest challengers in the state, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, will go into campaign mode after the monsoon gets over.

lucknow Updated: Jul 18, 2018 13:35 IST
Pankaj Jaiswal
Pankaj Jaiswal
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Modi,Narendra Modi,Prime minister
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, will go into campaign mode after the monsoon gets over.(HT File)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a whirlwind campaign in Uttar Pradesh these days but one of his biggest challengers in the state, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, will go into campaign mode after the monsoon gets over.

“All the campaign that they (PM Narendra Modi and chief minister Yogi Adityanath) are doing will wash way in rainwater. I will start after monsoon,” Akhilesh had said during a press conference on Saturday.

The PM went into campaign mode in UP on June 28 when he addressed a rally and inaugurated projects in Maghar (Sant Kabir Nagar), the place where the 15th century mystic poet Kabir Das breathed his last.

He then covered Noida (Gautam Budh Nagar), Azamgarh and Varanasi. His next fixtures are in Shahjahanpur on July 21 and a grand rally in Lucknow on July 29.

Akhilesh, fresh from his 10-day foreign holiday, is busy in counter-attacking Modi and Yogi through press conferences and social media, consolidating party outfit in UP and the new agenda of contesting Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Rajasthan assembly elections on a bigger scale.

After two days, he will be on a two-day tour to Madhya Pradesh.

Taking a jibe at Modi’s hectic campaign in UP, Akhilesh, who is also an avid football enthusiast, on Monday said: “FIFA World Cup brought out a fine analysis. Those who ran more in the championship lost and those who ran less, won.”

Be it Kranti Rath yatra ahead of 2012 UP assembly elections after which he became the chief minister, 2014 Lok Sabha elections or 2017 assembly polls, Akhilesh has invariably been launching his campaigns after the monsoon.

He is likely to deploy his Mercedes Benz bus, converted into a ‘rath’, to address rallies and take to planes and helicopters too.

“I will also take out bicycle yatras. The PM knows when the elections will be announced. Let him announce the dates. I will begin my campaign then,” said Akhilesh after flagging off SP’s ‘Dalit Chetana, Yuva Chetana’ bicycle rally from Allahabad to Lucknow.

A senior party leader familiar with the developments said the party would chalk out the schedule for the campaign once the alliance in Uttar Pradesh was announced.

First Published: Jul 18, 2018 13:35 IST