The Samajwadi Party (SP) on Friday made a raft of promises, including a ‘Samajwadi thali’ at ₹10, to voters of Uttar Pradesh if it was voted to power.
At a press conference with his ally, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Jayant Chaudhary, in Ghaziabad, SP leader Akhilesh Yadav said his party wanted to “keep some things in the public domain” before announcing the manifesto for the assembly election.
“The SP has already promised 300 units of free electricity to households, free power to farmers for irrigation purposes, laptops for students and the old pension scheme,” the former chief minister said.
“Now, we also want to announce that after forming the government in the state, Samajwadi canteens and Samajwadi kirana (convenience) stores will be established where the poor will get ration and other supplies at subsidised rates. We will provide Samajwadi thali with nutritious food in these canteens at ₹10, which will ensure that no one goes hungry. We started these canteens at some places earlier, too, but the BJP government closed them.”
The SP leader said his party would bring an Urban Employment Guarantee Act on the lines of MNREGA to ensure employment in urban areas. “I had earlier said if we come to power there will be 22 lakh employment opportunities in the IT sector. Besides, 11 lakh government posts are lying vacant. We will fill those posts on priority,” he said.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday stepped up his attack on the SP and the RLD, saying their alliance would last only till the counting of votes.
In Muzaffarnagar to address a voters’ meeting, Shah said that if the SP formed the government, Azam Khan, one of the founders of the party, would be a part of the Cabinet and Chaudhary would be out.
“Akhilesh Yadav and Jayant Chaudhary held a press conference yesterday and said that they are together. But for how long will this alliance last? If SP forms the government in UP, Jayant bhai will be removed and Azam Khan will come back. The people should understand from the distribution of tickets what will happen next,” he said.
“Earlier SP-BSP ruled in UP and when behenji’s (Mayawati, BSP president) would come here, she would talk about one caste. When Congress came, they talked about family and when Akhilesh babu would come, he would talk about goondas, mafia and appeasement,” Shah said.
Highlighting the performance of the Yogi Adityanath government in the state and taking a swipe at the SP, Shah, speaking at Saharanpur, said: “Under Yogi sarkaar, mafia is now only in three places — in jails, outside UP or else in the candidate list of the Samajwadi Party.”
Shah invoked eminent Jat leader late prime minister Chaudhary Charan Singh and farmers’ leader Mahendra Singh Tikait, and asked if anyone could forget the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots during which victims were made accused. The home minister also reeled out comparative crime figures under the present Yogi Adityanath-led state government and the one headed by Yadav before him.