Becoming friends (read: forming an alliance with the Congress party) with Rahul Gandhi “was” a good idea, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said today at India Today’s youth summit — Mind Rocks 2018, Delhi. The comment by Yadav immediately prompted the question: Did he mean that he would not ally with Gandhi in the future?
“Forget it,” Yadav in an attempt to evade the question. However, when pressed to answer, Yadav finally clarified: “I am the kind of a guy who, once he makes friends, he doesn’t break that friendship.”
The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister later went on to suggest once again that the friendship with Rahul Gandhi would last, by saying that his Samajwadi Party would will try and become part of any anti-BJP coalition that forms in Madhya Pradesh.
Madhya Pradesh will go to the polls later this year, and of late, there has been talk about the Congress and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party joining hands to fight that election.
A large part of Akhilesh’s Mind Rocks session was devoted to targeting the Bharatiya Janata Party for what he said was its taking credit for development work carried out by his government.
“Remember that Metro ride PM Modi took with the South Korean President?” Akhilesh asked, referring to the day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in travelled from Delhi to Noida on the Blue Line of the Delhi Metro earlier this year.
“Nobody talks about who made that Metro line,” Akhilesh said. “Also, the Samsung plant [located in Noida; inaugurated by PM Modi]… my government’s policy was behind that.”
Akhilesh went on to express confidence that the BJP would fail to win the same number of Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh as it did in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
The string of losses suffered by the party in the recent Lok Sabha bypolls in Uttar Pradesh are enough indication that the party will find it difficult to win in the state, Akhilesh said.
Towards the end of his session, Akhilesh was asked if he would attend an event to which the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is reportedly inviting Opposition party leaders. Akhilesh suggested he would not go because while he “doesn’t know much about the RSS” he has read about “why Sardar Patel banned the RSS”.