MAINPURI: Addressing a rally in the SP stronghold of Karhal, from where its president Akhilesh Yadav is contesting the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, Union Home Minister Amit Shah took potshots at the party on Thursday for bringing veteran leader Mulayam Singh Yadav for campaigning.
Accusing Akhilesh Yadav of indulging in dynastic politics, he said the previous SP government in Uttar Pradesh had 45 members from his family.
“I had heard Akhilesh Yadav say on television that he would now come to Karhal only on March 10 (the day the poll results are scheduled to be announced). But he came here six days later and under this scorching sun, also had to bring Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav). When the beginning is like this, what will be the end result?” Shah asked.
Incidentally, Samajwadi Party (SP) patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav made his first appearance in the ongoing election process on Thursday, addressing a meeting for his son Akhilesh Yadav at a distance of only about three kilometres from the venue of Shah’s rally.
The home minister told the voters if they want the BJP to win 300 seats in Uttar Pradesh, then it can be achieved through an electoral victory in Karhal, from where the saffron party has fielded Union minister S P Singh Baghel.
“Only one seat can do the work of 300 seats. Make the ‘kamal’ (lotus, BJP’s poll symbol) win in Karhal and the SP will be wiped out from the state,” he said.
Shah said Baghel holds an important position in the Union council of ministers.
“He is a big leader of the Baghels. When he joined the BJP, he did so after leaving power. We made him the president of the (party’s) OBC morcha. He contested the (Lok Sabha) election and won. (Prime Minister Narendra) Modiji made him a minister and there was no need for him to contest the Assembly polls. But he said he does not want Uttar Pradesh to be run by gangsters again,” he said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said once again a government that works for the welfare of the poor, backward classes, Dalits and farmers has to be installed in the state and hence, Baghel has been fielded in the ongoing polls.
Hitting out at the SP, Shah alleged that the party ruled Uttar Pradesh for a long time but did nothing for the poor, whereas, on coming to power in 2014, Modi had said the BJP government is a government for the poor and backward sections of the society and has worked in this direction since then.
Talking about the welfare schemes initiated by the saffron party’s governments at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh, he took a swipe at Akhilesh Yadav for initially rejecting the COVID-19 vaccines as “BJP vaccines” and then taking the jab 10 days later “out of fear”.
“Had you not taken the vaccine going by his words, would you have been safe during the third wave (of the pandemic)?” Shah asked the gathering.
“Modi is the son of a tea seller and understands the pain of the poor,” he said, adding that the prime minister introduced the Ayushman Bharat scheme for the health of poor people.
“The SP describes itself as a party of the poor, but its ‘S’ means ‘sampatti ikattha’ (amassing wealth) and ‘P’ means ‘pariwarwad’ (dynasty). In its government, one family of Akhilesh Yadav had occupied 45 posts. They think only about their family, not even for their own caste (Yadavs) or the backward sections of the society,” the Union home minister said, while pointing out that Modi has given the slogan of “sabka sath, sabka vikas” for the welfare of all.
Claiming massive improvement on the law-and-order front in Uttar Pradesh, Shah asked the gathering whether they were ever troubled by “bahubalis” (musclemen) since the BJP government came to power in the state.
“Where is Azam Khan, Atiq Ahmed and Mukhtar Ansari? Will they remain in jail if an SP government is formed? The very next day, they will come out to see ‘gaana-bajana’ at the Saifai Mahotsav. Decide where you want to keep them. Under the government of Narendra Modi, there is no bahubali, only Bajrangbali in Uttar Pradesh,” he said.
“We have fielded SP Singh Baghel after proper thinking to ensure that the mantra of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ reaches the last man. Ensure Baghel’s victory and I guarantee that all the backward classes will get proper participation,” Shah added.
Referring to Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati as “bua-bhatija”, he asserted that only the BJP can keep the country safe.
Addressing another rally in neighbouring Firozabad, Shah claimed that the SP has lost the ongoing election after the first two rounds of polling itself, adding that Akhilesh Yadav follows the mantra of “collecting money and going on a vacation” while that of the BJP is using funds for the welfare of people.