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Published On: Mon, Jan 21st, 2019

Does BJP have anyone but Narendra Modi, asks Akhilesh Yadav

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Akhilesh-Yadav2LUCKNOW: Taking a potshot at the ruling BJP for allegedly ridiculing the opposition’s grand alliance at the national level over the issue of Prime Ministerial candidate, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav said the alliance had many leaders capable of leading the country, but the BJP should say if they had anyone but Narendra Modi.
He said many choices (for the prime ministerial candidate) will emerge in the future. He, however, said he was “not in the prime ministerial race”.Yadav responded to the BJP’s attack that the Mahagathbandhan — a proposed alliance of anti-BJP parties– has no clear leader.

“As far as leadership issue is concerned, it is actually the people who decide it…you will see, in time to come, how many choices we have,” he told reporters when asked about who would be the leader of opposition parties against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  He took a jibe at PM Modi, saying the country was waiting for a new prime minister. “…if the BJP, which is so concerned about us, has a new prime minister, they should tell the people,” PTI quoted him as saying.

Interacting with media persons here on Monday, the SP chief claimed that the nation was calling for a change. “Desh naye PM ki prateeksha kar rah hai.  BJP ke pass koi naya chehra ho to woh batayen
(The country is waiting for a new PM. If BJP has a new face, they should tell the people),” said Akhilesh, adding that when the time would demand, people would decide the leadership.

He also took a jibe at the Yogi government over its announcement of pension for sadhus above 60 years of age on Monday. The pension would be provided under the state pension scheme for senior citizens. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the government would set up special camps across the state till January 30 to help sadhus enroll for pension under the scheme.

The announcement has been made at a time when Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh is hosting Kumbh Mela 2019 where lakhs of Hindu seers are attending the religious event. Critical of 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas started in Varanasi on Monday, the SP chief said the BJP government was tom-tomming its achievements before the NRIs anticipating some investment, but with their ‘thonko’ (encounter) policy, there was an atmosphere of fear in the state.
“You are showing them Kumbh and R-Day, also take them on Lucknow Agra Expressway to showcase the real development done by us,” stated the SP chief. On the seats in his share, Akhilesh claimed that who will fight on which seat was also almost final with the BSP and an announcement would be made soon. However, he dodged a question on the number of seats being given to the RLD.

Akhilesh Yadav– who has entered into an alliance with Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha elections– said that the two parties have arrived at a decision on most of the seats in the state and an announcement would be made about the same soon.Soon after announcing an alliance, Mr Yadav had said that he was not averse to the idea of BSP chief Mayawati becoming the prime minister of the country.
There are conflicting opinions in the proposed alliance regarding who the prime ministerial candidate for the opposition block will be. DMK’s MK Stalin had caused a row after he unilaterally proposed the name of Rahul Gandhi as the PM face. The idea was unanimously dismissed by several parties.

The name of Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee –who organised a massive opposition rally in Kolkata last week– has also been promoted by some prospective partners. Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy today backed Mr Banerjee, saying she is capable to lead the country.
(With inputs from Agencies)

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