Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday said the “double-engine” government of the BJP has failed with its engines colliding against each other, accusing it of disappointing farmers and the jobless youth in Uttar Pradesh.
He said the BJP government at the Centre withdrew the three contentious farm laws only because of the upcoming assembly elections. “The anger of the public was visible. The farmers would have stood against them in the elections, and for this reason, the farm laws were withdrawn," he told reporters in Jaunpur, where he resumed his “rath yatra” poll campaign.
Mocking the BJP's constant claim that the state benefited because the same party led the governments in UP and at the Centre, he said, “This double-engine government has completely failed. These double engines are colliding with each other.”
He said the farmers will not forget the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, in which four farmers were crushed to death by an SUV. “Weren’t the person driving the jeep and people sitting with him BJP workers,” he said, referring to the allegations against the ruling party. “Will women forget the Hathras incident,” he added, alluding to a rape-and-murder case.
Yadav said the government had failed to live up to its promise ahead of the earlier elections to double farm incomes. "The first promise made by the BJP in the `sankalp patra’ was to double the income of farmers. Today, the income of most people has halved, while inflation has doubled. How will prosperity come?” he said.
The opposition leader said had the farmers not worked on their fields during the Covid pandemic, the economy would have crumbled. Despite the recent withdrawal of the three agri laws by the Centre following months of farmers’ protest, the SP and its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal have indicated that it will be an important poll issue.
Against the backdrop of now ended farmers' protest, the alliance is expected to give a tough fight in western Uttar Pradesh to the BJP, which won 109 of the 136 Assembly seats in the region in the last Assembly polls. The SP chief said there is joblessness in the state. Referring to a high-profile event organised by the state government to attract new ventures, he asked, “Has the investment come to UP?” He also referred to the cancellation of recruitment exams due to question paper leaks.
To a question referring to a recent jibe by Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the red caps worn by SP workers, he said, “The BJP cannot understand the red colour, since the red colour is the colour of emotion. When you become angry, your face and ears turn red.” “Our blood is red. Is the blood of the BJP black? Theirs is also red. The clothes which couples wear during weddings are also red. Vermilion is also red in colour." At a rally in Gorakhpur, Modi had said those who wear the red caps are a “red alert” as they wanted to form a government to free terrorists from jails.
Referring to government hospital in Jaunpur, the former chief minister said, "I remember that when I approved the Jaunpur Medical College, I had said it would be better than the one in Azamgarh. The budget was also provided for it. He seemed to suggest that there was slow progress on the project after the BJP came to power in the state. “I came to know that it has been inaugurated. How can a medical college which itself is demanding treatment provide treatment to poor people," he said.
-With PTI Inputs