Samajwadi Party (SP) President Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday lashed out at the BJP government in the state and accused them of misleading the people with false hopes and dividing them along caste and religious lines.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, Yadav said there was an atmosphere of lawlessness and fear under the watch of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and listed several cases where the police and the members of ruling party had allegedly committed excesses on the common people.
“The BJP has mastered the art of misleading people and I am sure that having seen their reality, the people will throw them out in the 2019 General Elections,” the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said.
Many atrocities were being perpetrated on women and girls and their honour and lives were not safe under the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, he said.
The party also paraded the father of a minor girl who was hacked to death while returning from school.
The bereaved father alleged that he was getting threatening calls from the perpetrators and members of the BJP asking him not to rake up the matter further.
Coming from Nishad community, the man told media persons that his family had been living in perpetual fear, after which Yadav assured him that the matter would be taken up with Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik.
“I will write to him and petition him on your behalf, seeking safety and security of your family,” Yadav told the man.
The former Chief Minister also called the BJP “the biggest casteist force” and said: “When they (BJP) do it, the media says it is social engineering, demographic understanding and booth management, but when we advocate the rights of people from different castes, we are dubbed casteists.”
“Now we will also fight iron with iron — lohe se loha katenge,” he said suggesting that the party would emulate the formula of caste combinations mastered by the BJP.
Asked to comment on the future of his party’s alliance with the Congress, as was the case in 2017 assembly polls, he responded ambiguously, saying that as of now the party was busy with sprucing up its own machinery and added that the SP would cross the bridge when it came.
“When the elections are announced, we will discuss a host of issues like this,” Yadav said, adding that personally he was a friend of friends — “yaaron ka yaar!”
Clearly irked when a reporter asked him the future of the “UP ke dono ladke” — the catchline of their alliance’s campaign in the state assembly polls, he retorted by saying that he would be happy if the reporter dared to call the present Chief Minister a “ladke” (boy) as he was also of their age.
Many leaders from other parties, including the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, joined the SP in presence of Yadav, state SP president Naresh Uttam and other senior leaders.
Those who joined the party include former BSP legislator Tahir Hussain Siddiqui, former BJP legislator Bhim Prasad Nishad and hundreds of other activists.