Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying that the saffron party had given nothing but only slogans to the country.
In an exclusive interview with News Nation’s Vineeta Yadav, Akhilesh criticised the ruling party for fooling the farmers on loan waiver and other issues. The SP chief opened up about his poll strategy ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi’s PM remark and the recent bungalow controversy.
Hitting out at the ruling party, Akhilesh said that the policies of the BJP had taken the country several years back and all the Opposition parties should now unite to oust the saffron party from power.
Excerpts of Akhilesh Yadav's Interview with News Nation:
On rift in Bonhomie with Rahul Gandhi: Recently, there were reports that the Samajwadi Party was not keen to join hands with the Congress and would prefer Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The SP even skipped the Iftar party hosted by Rahul Gandhi in Delhi. However, Akhilesh rebutted all reports and said that his party’s relations with the Congress were very good and there was no rift between them. On reports of SP offering just two seats - Rai Bareli and Amethi – to the grand old party, he said that this party was in talks with the BSP and any decision on seat sharing with the Congress would be made after finalising alliance negotiations with Mayawati.
On Anti-BJP alliance: The former UP CM looked very eager to unite all the Opposition parties against the BJP ahead of the 2019 general elections. Speaking to News Nation, he said, “The BJP has done a lot of damage to the country by its policies. The most hit were farmers. To save the country, all parties have to unite and oust the saffron party from power.”
Asked who would be the leader of the anti-BJP front, the SP chief said, “First we have to uproot the BJP and the question of who will be the leader of the alliance would emerge after elections.” He pulled his name out of the Prime Minister’s race in 2019 but maintained that he would be very well in the “race to oust the BJP”.
On farmer's issue: Reacting to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's promise to double farmer's income by 2022, Akhilesh said that this was yet another gimmick of the BJP to fool the people. "The BJP has given nothing but only slogans to the country. They promised farm loan waiver but nothing has been done to keep that promise. In UP, they promised to settle all dues of sugarcane farmers but they didn't do that. Had they done that, they would not have lost the Kairana bypoll.
On Bungalow Controversy: After Allahabad High Court’s order that former CM’s have to vacate their bungalows, Akhilesh was among the first former CMs to move from their government residences. However, a controversy erupted after videos of broken tiles and damaged walls of Akhilesh’s residence surfaced. The BJP accused the leader of damaging the house and even suggested that there was something hidden there. However, Akhilesh played down the controversy, saying that there were many other important issues before the nation and the bungalow controversy was part of BJP’s evil designs of spreading hatred.