Agra Former chief minister and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday held that Congress president Rahul Gandhi was an ‘absolute Indian’ and took potshots at the BJP, saying those dividing the nation cannot be Indian.He stated that SP and BSP coming together was the beginning of a grand alliance and the Congress was with them like a ‘friend’.Yadav termed Narendra Modi as a ‘failed PM” and asked the BJP to name its new face before asking alliance partners about their PM face for the Lok Sabha election.“The nation wants a change and is looking for a new prime minister as the present one has ‘failed’ to deliver. Let the BJP find a new face for itself, and then alliance partners would spell out the name of their PM face,” stated Yadav.The SP chief was in Agra to condole the demise of party general secretary Ramji Lal Suman’s wife. He reached his house at Sanjay Place in Agra and later interacted with the media.Targeting the BJP for the “deteriorating law and order in UP”, Yadavsaid: “Women are at risk and victims are not getting justice. Leave apart other places, killings are now taking place in jail,” said Yadav accusing the government of being behind the killing. Replying to a question in the light of the controversial statement by BSP vice-president Jai Prakash Singh (now removed), Yadav termed Congress president Rahul Gandhi as an ‘absolute Indian’.Jai Prakash Singh had called Congress president Rahul Gandhi unfit for being India’s prime minister.“It is the BJP that should tell about itself… one who is involved in dividing the nation cannot be Indian any way. The BJP is the biggest ‘jativadi’ (casteist) party and should stop dividing the nation into Muslims and Hindus. Other nations are surging ahead while we still lack in basic facilities of health and education,” said Akhilesh Yadav.“The BSP and SP coming together is merely the beginning. We are discussing matters related to it and it would continue in time to come. The Congress is with us being a friend,” he said on an optimistic note about the emerging grand alliance amongst opposition parties for the LS polls.When asked on the BJP’s reported offer to the BSP for 25 seats in UP, the SP said it was a political gimmick and suggested that the BJP shuns such tactics to create division among the opposition. “The BJP has begun holding election rallies but is not disclosing dates for the LS elections. We too would begin our ‘cycle’ once the BJP declares dates for the polls,” he added.When asked how he rated the BJP government in UP, Yadav stated that the masses in UP had already given the rating to the BJP in the bypolls of Kairana, Gorakhpur Phoolpur. Akhilesh Yadav also accused the BJP regime of neglecting Agra, which had the potential of being a heritage city.“Yamuna is in poor condition. The best BJP can do is to inaugurate schemes started by the Samajwadi Party in UP as they are unable to begin anything afresh. We had asked NoC for having international airport at Hirangaon, 16 km from Agra, but nothing materialised,” alleged the former chief minister.“The smart city project has failed, but we would make Agra a heritage city while returning to power. Agra waits for Metro and completion of airport, with no concrete steps taken,” said the SP leader. ASSURANCE ON ALTERNATIVE SPACE FOR SHEROES AGRA After having raised the plight of acid attack survivors running the ‘Sheroes Hangout’ in Agra, Akhilesh Yadav stopped at the café which faces demolition threat. He interacted with the survivors and assured them all help in finding an alternative space.“We are with these braveheart girls and condemn the way they are being left to face demolition drive. We assure them of a better place. We had allocated them space in Lucknow and would also help them in Agra,” stated Akhilesh. Raju Tomar/HT PhotoSamajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav with acid attack survivors whose café in Agra faces demolition threat.On July 11, a team of local authorities brought down the front wall in open area of the café on Fatehabad Road as part of a drive to clear encroachments for widening of road. Threat of further demolition looms large on the café and this has led to insecurity among acid attack survivors running the café.