LUCKNOW: The Samajwadi Party, the Rashtriya Lok Dal and some smaller parties will contest the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls together, and an announcement in this regard would be made soon, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said on Tuesday.
He said besides the RLD, talks have reached the final stage with the Mahan Dal and Dr Sanjay Chauhan’s outfit.
Yadav said the “cleanup” of the BJP will begin from western Uttar Pradesh and the saffron party will be wiped out by the time it reaches Ballia (in eastern Uttar Pradesh).
He also confirmed the SP’s alliance with his uncle Shivpal Yadav’s Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia).
The SP chief was speaking at a media event here.
Yadav has already declared that his party will have no tie-up with bigger parties like the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), and would rather prefer smaller regional parties as partners in the crucial election.
Asked about the chance of any tie-up with the AIMIM, he did not show any inclination.
Speaking at the conclave of News 24 immediately after Yadav, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi hit out at the SP and the BSP for taking 75 per cent Muslim votes by raking up the fear of the BJP but doing nothing to uplift their living standards.
In a scathing attack, the Hyderabad MP said prominent non-BJP parties are racing with the saffron party to prove themselves to be a greater champion of the Hindutva cause and charged these parties with promoting majoritarianism in the country.
“Days are not far when India will have majoritarianism as State policy like Israel,” Owaisi, who has announced that the AIMIM will contest 100 seats in the Uttar Pradesh polls, said.
He trashed Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s claim of no riots in Uttar Pradesh during his rule of four-and-a-half years.
The 2019 NCRB report says 5,819 communal fights took place in the state, Owaisi said, asserting that it is official data and could be verified.
He alleged that since the BJP has nothing to show in the Uttar Pradesh polls, Adityanath and others are using words like “abbajaan” and “chachajaan” as part of “divisive” politics.
He said such like expressions are part of “dog-whistle politics”.
On the attack at his residence in Delhi on Tuesday, Owaisi said the incident happened at a short distance from a police station and it shows the efforts to “silence” the minority community.
He also used the incident, in which some right-wing activists have been arrested, to dispel the charge that the “AIMIM plays a friendly match with the BJP in polls”.
Owaisi alleged that Muslims are being targeted in Uttar Pradesh and reeled out figures that among those killed in police encounters in the state, 37 per cent were from the minority community.
Yadav said if voted to power, the SP will not implement the “black farm laws” in Uttar Pradesh and will improve the “mandi” system in the state.
He asserted that in the upcoming polls, Uttar Pradesh will get a new government and that the people of the state want “progressive politics”.
Hitting out at the state government for the poor law-and-order situation, Yadav said Uttar Pradesh tops in terms of custodial deaths, the NHRC has served maximum notices to the state and a fugitive IPS officer is yet to be caught.
Taking a dig at the BJP, he said, “The double-engine government is colliding with each other.”
Asked to comment on his strategy in the upcoming polls as compared to the 2012 election, the SP chief said he believes in the English phrase, “strike the iron when it is hot”.
He also said the BJP’s strength is its publicity of lies.
To a question on comparing the organisational strength of the BJP and the SP, Yadav said his party had defeated the ruling party candidates from the parliamentary constituencies earlier represented by the chief minister (Gorakhpur) and deputy chief minister (Phoolpur) in 2018.
On being asked whether he would be able to match the BJP’s money power in the polls, Yadav said, “A cycle (SP’s poll symbol) does not need diesel or petrol.”
Earlier, national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Rakesh Tikait claimed that the BJP will not get more than 140 seats in the Uttar Pradesh polls.
Tikait also said he has no faith in EVMs, adding, “We will not contest any polls.”
He praised former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and said the credit for land acquisition goes to him.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi will leave office in the middle of his term and become the president. Yogiji must be promoted and he should become the prime minister,” Tikait said sarcastically.
To a question, he said, “Is the BJP the custodian of the Har Har Mahadev slogan? We are Raghuvanshis and Ayodhya is our place of birth.”
BSP national general secretary Satish Chandra Misra termed the BJP as “enemy number one” because it has “completely ruined the state”.
To a question, he said the elephant (BSP’s poll symbol) is the friend of the public.
Misra’s comments came a day after Adityanath said the ration meant for the common man were gobbled by the “elephant” when the BSP was in power in Uttar Pradesh.
Misra dismissed any possibility of a poll alliance with the SP.
To a question on whether the BSP will support the BJP in case of a hung Assembly, he said, “No support will be extended to the BJP at any cost.”