Image: Republic TV
Speaking exclusively to the Republic Media Network on Tuesday, Akhilesh Yadav predicted that Samajwadi Party and its other allies will win 400 seats in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. He commenced the 'Samajwadi Vijay Yatra' from Kanpur and is likely to tour all districts in a phased manner as a part of this public outreach programme. On being asked whether the induction of BSP, Congress and BSP leaders implies that his party doesn't have winnable candidates, Yadav said, "We will induct anyone who wants to struggle to ensure that the farmers get their rights".
Former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav remarked, "Inflation and unemployment have increased. The injustice and atrocities against women have increased. We have embarked on the Samajwadi Vijay Yatra to take the blessings of the people to oust this government."
"The people are in favour of Samajwadi Party. The people of Uttar Pradesh will defeat BJP because the income of farmers has not been doubled, the youth are unemployed and there are no jobs. The businesses have been destroyed due to the wrong policies of the government. The traders, farmers, youth and labourers are backing Samajwadi Party," he added. Sidestepping a question on the possibility of appointing a Muslim as the Deputy CM as suggested by AIMIM supremo Asaduddin Owaisi, Yadav opined, "First BJP should be wiped out of Uttar Pradesh".
In the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election, BJP won a whopping 312 seats in the 403-member House, whereas BSP could win only 19 seats. On the other hand, the SP-Congress alliance failed to bear fruit as it could win in only 54 constituencies. While this was seen as a mandate for PM Modi as BJP had not declared any CM candidate, Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath was a surprise pick for the post. Though some BJP leaders made conflicting statements over Adityanath's future as the Chief Minister, PM Modi put rest to all speculations by lauding UP's governance model during his successive visits to the state.
While Akhilesh Yadav has ruled out forging an alliance with Congress and BSP, he has remained non-committal about an electoral adjustment with his uncle Shivpal Yadav. Pertinently, the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) chief had asked the SP chief to take a call on the tie-up by October 11 failing which he will field candidates on all 403 seats. So far, SP has forged an alliance with Mahan Dal and Rashtriya Lok Dal.