UP FOR GRABS

At the day-long event in Luc­know, CM spells out his vi­sion, while min­is­ter & top cop share plans for grand Kumbh mela

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The SP-BSP UP al­liance is an al­liance of goons. It will help us wipe them off. Akhilesh would have rubbed his nose, taken even 10 seats if Mayawati said so...

THE al­liance formed be­tween the Sa­ma­jwadi Party (SP) and the Bahu­jan Sa­maj Party (BSP) for the 2019 Lok Sabha elec­tion is an al­liance of goons and roughs, said Ut­tar Pradesh chief min­is­ter Yogi Adityanath. His com­ments came af­ter SP chief Akhilesh Ya­dav and BSP chief Mayawati an­nounced that the two par­ties will con­test the Lok Sabha polls to­gether.

Speak­ing at In­dia To­day’s ‘Sangam - Con­flu­ence of Minds’ in Luc­know on Sun­day, Adityanath said the al­liance will ben­e­fit the BJP. “It is good that they have joined hands. Now it will be eas­ier for us to elim­i­nate them. It will be bet­ter if they decide to merge now. If they have de­cided to go to­gether, why don’t they merge their par­ties?” he asked. On Satur­day, Akhilesh and Mayawati had an­nounced their pre-poll al­liance for the 2019 Lok Sabha elec­tion.

The two par­ties have de­cided a 50:50 seat­shar­ing agree­ment. Each will con­test from 38 seats. The Congress, which in the past had stitched al­liance with both the par­ties, has now been left out of the al­liance. The SP and the BSP have left four seats for the Congress and other par­ties. The SP-BSP com­bine will not field can­di­dates in Ame­thi and Rae­bareli, Lok Sabha seats of Congress pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi and his mother So­nia Gandhi.

WHEN asked about the chal­lenge posed by the SP-BSP al­liance to the elec­toral prospects of the BJP in UP, Adityanath said that BJP is not wor­ried be­cause the peo­ple of UP know about the “an­ar­chy un­leashed” by them dur­ing their rule. “Both of them have had the op­por­tu­nity to run ma­jor­ity gov­ern­ments in the state. Com­mu­nal ri­ots and casteist di­vide ruled the roost dur­ing their regimes,” he said, adding that the peo­ple of UP know that de­vel­op­men­tal works have started only af­ter 2014 when Naren­dra Modi be­came the PM.

On ma­jor an­nounce­ment by BJP on Ram tem­ple be­fore the LS elec­tion, Adityanath said, “We have a pos­i­tive ap­proach. One should al­ways re­main hope­ful and we are hope­ful.” He also ac­cused Congress of “in­ten­tion­ally cre­at­ing hur­dles” in ar­riv­ing at an early so­lu­tion to the Ram Jan­mab­hoomi-Babri Masjid land ti­tle dis­pute. He said, “Peo­ple (Congress) who don’t want the tem­ple mat­ter to be re­solved are the ones cre­at­ing hur­dles in it.”

Congress is cre­at­ing hur­dles in Ram tem­ple con­struc­tion. They are try­ing to ex­ploit one com­mu­nity and use it as a vote bank. But, we have a pos­i­tive ap­proach and we are hope­ful. — Yogi Adityanath, UP chief min­is­ter

UP CM Yogi Adityanath at In­dia To­day Group’s ‘Sangam — Con­flu­ence of Minds’ event in Luc­know on Sun­day.

MANEESH AGNIHOTRI

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