SP chief Akhilesh Yadav holds show of strength in Mumbai
Akhilesh Yadav also targeted Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, saying his government failed to curb farmer suicides in the state.
Mumbai: Former Union minister Sharad Pawar’s plan to project himself as the face of the Opposition’s broad alliance against the Narendra Modi-led government suffered a setback Sunday. In Maharashtra, while Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar announced that he was opposed to any form of alliance with Pawar’s party, Samajwadi Party leader and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav dealt another blow, by holding his own show of strength in Mumbai.
The Samajwadi Party had earlier skipped the joint Opposition march under Pawar’s leadership in Mumbai on January 26. Further, while Pawar has reached out to the Congress leadership, the Congress leaders, both in Delhi and Maharashtra, are still wary of Pawar, whose party has bailed out the ruling BJP in Maharashtra in difficult situations on several occasions during the past three years. Meanwhile, projecting his own leadership, Yadav, who was addressing a rally organised by his party’s Maharashtra unit at the Somaiya Ground near Sion, launched a scathing attack against the Narendra Modi-led BJP government, accusing it of indulging in “divisive and communal politics”. Earlier in the day, he had also addressed a political rally in Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
Alleging that the BJP’s “communal politics” was a ploy to divert people’s mind from the government’s failures in addressing core governance issues such as employment, poverty, and farm distress, Yadav said his party had the wherewithal to dethrone the BJP in power. During the Mumbai rally, SP leaders from the state also fired salvos at the NCP and the Congress leadership in the state.
Yadav, meanwhile, also lashed out at Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis over the failure to curb farmer suicides in the state, and “misleading” the farmers over the farm loan waiver assurance. He hit out at the Modi government over demonetisation, claiming that the government had failed to achieve the objectives it had announced for the campaign. He also targeted the government for poor implementation of the GST regime.
Yadav’s Mumbai rally was delayed by three hours. Some workers who had assembled since afternoon clashed with each other, bringing embarrassment to the party.