Akhilesh hints at truce; says top Cong leader sent message, will accept it - Hindustan Times
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Akhilesh hints at truce; says top Cong leader sent message, will accept it

Oct 22, 2023 06:54 AM IST

Akhilesh had taken an aggressive stance against the Congress since last Sunday (October 15) following failure in seat-sharing for the forthcoming Madhya Pradesh assembly polls.

LUCKNOW: Indicating possibility of a truce between the Samajwadi Party and Congress--the two key-constituents of the INDIA bloc in Uttar Pradesh-- SP national president Akhilesh Yadav said on Saturday he got a call from the topmost Congress leader. “If that topmost leader is saying something, then I will accept it”.

Akhilesh Yadav in Hardoi. (Sourced)
Akhilesh Yadav in Hardoi. (Sourced)

Talking to reporters in Hardoi, Akhilesh said: “Abhi (just now), I got a message from the topmost leader of the Congress through someone. If that leader is saying something, then I will accept it”.

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He did not say anything further about the “message”.

However, he reiterated: “Why did they call us if they didn’t want an alliance? Like the INDIA alliance took the decision to boycott some TV journalists, they should have said that there would be no alliance at the state level and it was only for the Lok Sabha polls. But they have no answers. They should not conspire against us or betray us, just let us know straight.”

Akhilesh had taken an aggressive stance against the Congress since last Sunday (October 15) following failure in seat-sharing for the forthcoming Madhya Pradesh assembly polls. On Sunday, the SP began announcing candidates on MP seats and then on Monday released the party’s MP polls manifesto. He had been accusing Madhya Pradesh Congress president Kamal Nath and former MP chief minister Digvijay Singh of “betraying” the SP despite assuring seats in a seat-sharing talks with SP delegation.

Akhilesh had threatened that if the INDIA bloc alliance was not for the states’ elections and was only meant for the Lok Sabha elections, then he too would think over the alliance in UP when the time came.

Talking about the past relationship with the Congress, Akhilesh in Hardoi said: “Dr Ram Manohar Lohia and Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) in the past had said that when the Congress is at its weakest and when they need us, they will reach out to us; and we should support them… We will follow our tradition. During the nuclear deal (India-US deal) we stood with them.”

Akhilesh was in Hardoi to address his party ‘Lok Jagran Abhiyaan’ and said that the campaign was to prepare the party cadre to take on the BJP in 2024 polls. He said: “Hitler government had a propaganda minister. Likewise, the BJP is replete with propaganda systems. Our workers will neutralise the BJP’s propaganda”.

‘Lotus’ retort to Kamal Nath’s ‘Vakhilesh’ jab

Akhilesh Yadav also took a potshot at Madhya Pradesh Congress stalwart Kamal Nath while responding to his ‘Akhilesh-Vakhilesh’ remark, saying one whose name was ‘Kamal (lotus)’ won’t call him by his correct name.

‘Kamal’ means lotus in Hindi, which is the poll symbol of the Bharatiya Janata Party. “He was right in saying who is Vakhilesh? Akhilesh is there. If they say these kinds of things then Samajwadi Party can also say (such things), but we don’t want to indulge in this. Our relationship with Kamal Nath is very good. His name is so nice. One whose name has ‘kamal’ will call me Vakhilesh only, not Akhilesh,” he said.

On Friday, while campaigning in his stronghold Chhindwara, Nath said his party would win the elections with better than expected numbers. Asked about SP chief Akhilesh Yadav’s allegations of “betrayal” against Congress over seat-sharing, Kamal Nath said, “Arre bhai chhodo Akhilesh Vakhilesh.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Pankaj Jaiswal is Chief of Bureau, Uttar Pradesh and covers politics. His continued interest in rural, distress, and development journalism, fetched him a handful of prestigious awards and fellowships. Pankaj is a photo-journalist too and tweets at @augustus29lotus

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