Union Home Minister Amit Shah, a star campaigner for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Uttar Pradesh Polls, on Thursday, 17 February, took a swipe at Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav for introducing his father and party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav to election campaign at a rally in Karhal, PTI reported.
Mulayam Singh Yadav's rally took place around the same time and day in Karhal, just a few kilometres away from Amit Shah's meeting,
Shah said that Akhilesh had earlier claimed that he would come to Karhal only on the day of counting i.e. 10 March but backtracked on his promise only six days later to bring Mulayam Singh to the fore. "When the beginning is like this, what will be the end result?" he questioned.
Akhilesh Yadav is contesting the UP polls from the Karahal seat, considered to be a stronghold of the SP. Up against the SP supremo is Union minister SP Singh Baghel, who is counted amongst the tall leaders of the backward classes in the BJP.
"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," Amit Shah said while reasoning Baghel's choice as the party contender.
Shah slammed the SP for not working towards the development of the state during its rule, claiming how the BJP since its victory in 2014 had worked constantly for the benefit of the poor and the backward sections of the society.
He also questioned Akhilesh Yadav's reluctance to get vaccinated at the outset, before getting jabbed "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 crowd.
Asserting that the SP is a dynastic party, Shah said that Akhilesh Yadav was concerned only with his family, and not even for the members of their own caste (Yadavs) or other backward sections.
Shah cited how the law and order had improved in the state in the past five years, saying that there were no 'Bahubalis' (Gangsters) anymore, but only 'Bajrangbalis' (Lord Hanuman).
Calling the duo of Akhilesh Yadav and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) spearhead Mayawati a jodi of bua-bhatija (aunt-niece), Shah pronounced that the BJP was the only political party that could keep the country safe.
"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," he assured the voters present at the rally.
(With inputs from PTI.)