Lucknow: Riding high on bypoll victories in UP, Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav today said the win was a "big one" as it has instilled confidence among party workers and sent out a message all over the country that the BJP can be defeated in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The BJP lost the bypolls in Gorakhpur, the bastion of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Phulpur, which was earlier held by deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya.
"I term victories in bypolls as a big one because it is not only our victory but also defeat of the CM and the deputy CM. Yogiji, who was campaigning for the BJP, could not save his own seat. It has given a message all over the country and instilled confidence among people and workers that if the BJP can be defeated in its constituencies it can be replicated all over," Akhilesh Yadav told PTI in an interview.
On the RS poll debacle in which BSP candidate Bhim Rao Ambekdar, who was supported by his party lost, the former chief minister said, "The character of BJP, which misuse money and power against the poor stands exposed in the RS polls. Due to conspiracy being hatched by the BJP against the election of a Dalit, the SP-BSP unity has strengthened for next polls. I also thank Mayawatiji." About the party's strategy for 2019 polls, Akhilesh said besides booth management, party workers have been asked to reach all villages and interact with people.
"I myself, our leaders and our cadre will reach everywhere. We will apprise them about works initiated in my regime and ask them to compare them with what is going on in the BJP regime. The BJP had given a number of promises but fulfilled none. The anger of the people is palpable and they have show it in bypolls," he said.
Asked about the BJP's plea that less vote percentage was the reason for its loss, Akhilesh said, "Had more voters come out, our victory margin would have been better. They (BJP) misled people and won elections and now they canot follow what they said." The SP supremo also said that his wife Dimple Yadav, who is MP from Kannauj, will not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls this time.
"We have decided that she will not be contesting this time as we are charged with practicising ‘pariwarwad'," he said. "BJP leaders like Rajnath Singh, Kalyan Singh, Raman Singh, Shivraj Chauhan are doing ‘pariwarwad'. Members of their family are there in politics. My wife is not contesting they should also set an example. If they don't do and only make allegations on us...I can also change my mind," he said.
On future alliance for 2019 and his relations with Congress, Akhilesh said the picture will become clear when polls come near.
"My relations with Congress are good and will remain so. It is a national party and we are strong here in the state. Preparations for a number of alliance are on. The leader will be decided later at an opportune time," he said.
Asked about his father Mulayam Singh Yadav's reaction to poll victories, Akhilesh said, "He was very happy that the youth were elected. He blessed us all." He also attacked Yogi Adityanath's statement that "he did not celebrate Eid" as unconstitutional and said such remarks should be avoided.
"I myself celebrate all festivals and observe nine-day fast during Navratra. My wife (Dimple) fasts on Thursdays," he said. Akhilesh charged that law and order has collapsed under the BJP regime. "They are doing encounters. But these are political encounters. And I want to tell all those involved in them that they will have to face probe now or later. They cannot get away with it. The BJP is damaging the fabric of society by spreading communalism and casteism," he charged.
On RJD chief Lalu Prasad, Akhilesh said, "He is not only a relative but a big leader, who had kept communal forces at bay in Bihar. I had sent Kironmay Nanda to meet him recently." (PTI)