Samajwadi Party Chief and former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav has demanded that the people of the state should get the options of both ballot paper and EVMs in the 2022 state assembly elections. Yadav also said that he will enter alliances with smaller parties instead of big political parties in the upcoming elections.
Speaking at News18’s Rising Uttar Pradesh event held in Lucknow on Wednesday, the SP chief said, “While they (BJP) won with a margin of lakhs through EVM, they lost where ballot was used. We demand that people of the state should get options of ballot paper and EVM in the 2022 polls. The government should give a choice to the people. Advanced countries like the USA have thrown away EVMs. I say it again today that even if I win, elections should be held through ballots.”
Answering questions on alignment with the Bahujan Samaj Party or Congress in the 2022 polls, Akhilesh replied, “The experience of alliance was not pleasant with big parties. Small parties will be taken together and we will contest elections with them.”
On the question of forging an alliance with his uncle Shivpal Yadav, Akhilesh said, “Shivpal is my uncle and he has his own political party now. If you remove that uncle part, we have said that roads are still open for alliance with smaller parties. Many small parties are already with us. People who once supported BJP now want to defeat it. Parties like RLD, party of Sanjay Chauhan, Mahan Dal and some more parties will come with us as the elections approaches.”
On Owaisi entering UP politics Yadav said, “When he first won the elections, he used to sit next to us but now he has changed. Roads are open for all the small parties. People who think alike and if they want to come with us, we will think over it.”
Answering a question about Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Akhilesh said, “Congress is a grand old party and the BJP is now following its footsteps. I want the Congress to work more for the people of the state. The way BJP is going was the same path of the Congress. We will not form any alliance with big parties like Congress. When I see principal-wise, Congress and BJP are alike.”
Will Ram Mandir be an issue in the 2022 state assembly poll? Akhilesh answered, “Lord Ram belongs to everyone, he doesn’t belong to BJP. Even Lord Krishna is ours, they all are avatars of Lord Vishnu. Issues should be on jobs, unemployment and farming. MSP was not given to farmers in wheat, corn, etc. Even sugarcane dues of 10,000 crore rupees are still pending.”
In 2022 what will be the issue of the Samajwadi Party? “There are a lot of issues, we have worked hard for the people of the state and they remember Samajwadi Party for their work. Be it ambulances, the police system or electricity, all have been done by the SP government. The CM should tell which new electricity plant he has made during his tenure.”