Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav has announced that he will not be contesting the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections even as his party has been projecting him as the chief ministerial candidate.
Akhilesh, who is an MP from SP MP from Azamgarh, will be able to become the CM if he is elected into the Upper House of the state, the Legislative Council.
However, with him not contesting the polls, the SP chief can concentrate on strategizing the party’s campaign and canvass for other party candidates during the Assembly elections.
He has also been firming up alliances ahead of the polls. “Our alliance with RLD is final. Seat sharing is to be finalised,” he told PTI in an interview.
He has also tied up with Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), which was a former BJP ally but became a rival after its chief Om Prakash Rajbhar complained that the BJP government was not doing enough for backward castes.
SP has also roped in a BJP legislator and 6 rebel Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLAs.
On allying with his uncle Shivpal Yadav’s Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia (PSPL), he said he doesn’t have a problem. “He and his men will be given due honour,” Akhilesh said.
Shivpal Yadav had broken away from Samajwadi Party and started his own party during the last Assembly elections in 2017 after a fallout with Akhilesh, who was then the chief minister of the state. Internal party tussle over candidate choice and alliances saw Akhilesh having a public and bitter fight with his father Mulayam Singh Yadav. The BJP routed SP following a strong campaign led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Yogi Adityanath becoming the Chief Minister.
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Currently, Akhilesh Yadav has said that Adityanath government’s policies — which, he said, were SP’s policies in a new name — did not reach all sections of the society, and so all the people of Uttar Pradesh have decided to oust the BJP government.
“All sections of people have made up their minds to elect an SP government in the assembly elections, following which Uttar Pradesh will get back on the path to growth and prosperity,” he said at a recent election rally.
Similar to the Trinamool Congress’s ‘Khela Hobe’ campaign in West Bengal, Akhilesh Yadav has launched ‘Khadeda Hobe’ and said that the BJP will be driven away from the state after the upcoming election.
He is also carrying out a statewide ‘Vijay Yatra’ from Kanpur to “make people aware about the corrupt, autocratic and suppressive policies of the BJP government and to establish real democracy”.