Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav talks about BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi and the Saifai Utsav controversy with The New Indian Express Editorial Director Prabhu Chawla on Sachchi Baat on NewsX. Excerpts:
Are you happy after becoming a chief minister?
I am feeling very good.
What are you feeling good about, power or fight?
I am getting a chance to fulfil the promises I have made to people.
There were riots in Muzaffarnagar and you are saying that you are fulfilling promises. Had you made promises to create riot?
The Samajwadi government was not formed with votes of Congress, BJP and BSP. The Party went to the people and showed them its manifesto. It was chosen thereafter. Antagonists will say such things. Those people have worsened the situation in the state.
You are taking Congress’ name.
You know what kind of endorsement and collaboration is there in the Lok Sabha. Communal powers could not go ahead, so they negotiated with the Congress on the basis of principal. There is a negotiation because communal powers could not overpower the country.
A section of the media and your rival parties said that you organised the colourful Saifai Mahotsav at a time when a tragic incident had taken place and people were dying of hunger.
Saifai Mahotsav is not organised by the government. Government had supported it. However it was done within the budget. All right, it happened in Saifai. But, I want to ask a question. On January 18, at least 18 people died in a stampede in Mumbai. There was a big celebration of the Mumbai Police in the night. Did the celebration find a mention in any paper or any channel? It was not published by any one.
What big policies have you implemented in the last two years?
No big policy has been formulated in Uttar Pradesh recently. Uttar Pradesh is a big state with a big population. The number of unemployed youths has increased. Skill development programme was closed here and the previous government did not open it. Just after forming the government we found out a way and started skill development programme. Within three weeks of the beginning of the skill development programme, over six-and-half lakh youths registered programme. Samajwadi Party worked a lot in the direction of calling Lucknow the IT city. For the IT city, one of the biggest IT companies HCL was chosen and it took the tender, and the construction of IT city in Lucknow will be started very soon.
What will be your slogan?
To stop communal powers and stimulate the agenda of development will be my slogan.
How much time you will spend on communal powers? Modi said that to win one should have a 56-inch chest, like a wrestler’s.
I will not say anything about him because he is a visitor to UP. He is not a resident.