BJP will be finished like Congress for misusing probe agencies: Akhilesh
Pressing for a nationwide caste census, which, he said was the biggest issue at the moment, Akhilesh Yadav claimed the BJP is trying to avoid it
Kolkata: Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for allegedly misusing central probe agencies against opposition parties, claiming just like the Congress, the ruling party will be politically finished in near future.
Addressing a press conference in Kolkata on the conclusion of the two-day national executive meeting of the Samajwadi Party, the principal opposition party in Uttar Pradesh, Yadav pressed for a nationwide caste census before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
“The election process will start in a few months. No matter what the BJP tries, people of India have understood that only those who are capable of defeating the BJP face probes by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI),” alleged Yadav. “Earlier, the Congress used to misuse the central agencies, and now the BJP is doing the same. The Congress is now finished, so will the BJP.”
Pressing for the caste census, which, he said was the biggest issue in the country at the moment, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister claimed several parties have made a similar demand.
“Caste census is the most important issue in India right now. You can take along everyone only when you conduct a caste census. Social justice is never possible without a caste census,” he said. “The BJP’s slogan in 2014 was Achhe Din (good days). In 2019, it became Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Viswas. Only caste census can show how much has been done for the poor and the downtrodden.”
He claimed that all political parties, from north India to south, were in favour of the caste census. “But the BJP is trying to avoid it,” he alleged. “Parties from all corners of India want it. This is an issue directly related to people’s struggle for rights. Delivering social justice is impossible without it.”
He also took a swipe at the Congress for “backtracking” on the caste census issue during the UPA-II regime from 2009 to 2014.
“When Manmohan Singh was the prime minster, Netaji (SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav), Sharad Yadav, Lalu Prasad and leaders from all southern states met him and (then Congress president) Sonia Gandhi. They said a caste census must be held since a general census was going on at that time. P Chidambaram, then home minister, assured that it would be done, but the Congress betrayed us,” Yadav alleged.
Yadav, who arrived in Kolkata on Friday, had said his party would maintain distance from both the BJP and the Congress soon after his meeting with West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee.
When asked about the plans of the proposed opposition front ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and whether Congress will be a part of it, the SP chief said: “The goal is to defeat the BJP. Presently most regional parties are trying to form a front. Mamata Banerjee is engaged in an exercise. Similar efforts are being made by the chief ministers of Telangana (K Chandrashekar Rao) and Bihar (Nitish Kumar).”
He added: “The Congress is a national party, so it has to decide its role. Similarly, the Left parties have to chart their course as well.”
The SP chief also spoke about the political resolution adopted in the two-day national executive, which started on Saturday. He said the Samajwadi Party will put all efforts to ensure that the BJP is defeated in Uttar Pradesh in 2024 general elections.
“Uttar Pradesh is the only state which can stop the BJP as it has the largest number of seats. We will defeat the BJP in Uttar Pradesh…,” he said.
Yadav also accused the BJP of working for big corporate houses, in a tacit reference to the Adani issue.
“The BJP says its economic policies are so good that a specific industrialist is now the world’s second richest person. The BJP has campaigned around India saying by 2024, this man will be world’s richest person. Now you can see where this industrialist has landed,” he claimed.
Hitting back, Bengal BJP chief spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said both the SP and the TMC were cheating people.
“The followers of (socialist leader) Ram Manohar Lohia may talk of socialism, but caste equation is what they depend on to survive in Uttar Pradesh politics,” he said. “TMC, on the other hand, carries the DNA of the Congress. Holding talks on opposition alliance against the BJP is like adding some imaginary spice to dreams that cannot be fulfilled.”
There was no immediate reaction from the Congress.
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