KANNAUJ: A day ahead of the expected formal announcement of SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh, former UP CM and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav kickstarted his poll campaign by organising an e-chaupal in a village of Kannauj, the city of fragrance, on Friday. Interacting with villagers, he claimed that SP and BSP together would unfurl the flag of victory handing out a crushing defeat to the BJP in upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Taking to digital path through #ChaupalOnTwitter, the SP chief chose Fakirpurwa village of Kannauj to reach out to his prospective voters. It was an initiative launched by twitter and Colin Crowell, vice-president, global public policy & corporate philanthropy of Twitter was also connected there.
Flanked by wife and Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav, Akhilesh reminded the gathering of villagers how the two regional parties, when joined hands, could snatch prestigious Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats represented by UP CM Yogi Adityanath and Deputy CM Keshav Maurya in Lok Sabha. “This time again our arithmetic will accord us victory against the BJP,” claimed the SP chief. He added both the BJP and Congress were jittery of SP-BSP alliance. In all probability, Akhilesh will contest upcoming election from Kannauj and he has dropped enough hints as well.
Constituency adjacent to his native district Etawah, Akhilesh had represented for 12 years in lower house of Parliament. His wife won the by-polls after he became the chief minister of UP in 2012. Again in 2014, Dimple was repeated in Kannauj and it was as one among the five seats which SP could win in the Modi wave.
Attacking Yogi government for its alleged failure on all the fronts, the SP chief claimed that development had taken a back seat under the present dispensation, unemployment was on the rise, farmers were suffering and no industry was seen on the ground despite having a mega investors’ summit in February last year.
“The only biggest issue, the CM focussing on was cow protection. The entire police department is busy catching and protecting cows now,” he quipped. Criticising the cow protection cess, the former CM alleged that Yogi Adityanath wanted to promote liquor consumption in the state as he had levied a cess on excise revenue.
“Now more liquor will be sold to increase revenue and pay the cess,” he opined. When asked about his slogan for the Lok Sabha polls, he said: “It will be ‘BJP ka dhokha bolta hai’ on the lines of our previous 2017 catchline ‘Kaam bolta hai.’
On the impending CBI interrogation in illegal mining case, Akhilesh, in a lighter vein, said it was good to face such probe agencies every now and then in order to keep your documents. “We – Netaji (Mualayam), Dimple and I -- have faced the CBI earlier under Congress rule. If summoned, I will again face it. But the questioning should be done either before or after the election, not in the middle of polls,” he observed.