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Rahul Gandhi and I are Young. We Have a Long Road Ahead of us, Says Akhilesh Yadav

A lot is at stake for Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in this state assembly polls. He has managed to capture his Samajwadi Party, but will he be able to retain the state? On the campaign trail, Yadav speaks to CNN News18’s Bhupendra Chaubey on a range of topics.

Bhupendra Chaubey | bhupendrachaube

Updated:February 9, 2017, 10:18 AM IST
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Lucknow: A lot is at stake for Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in this state assembly polls. He has managed to capture his Samajwadi Party, but will he be able to retain the state? On the campaign trail, Yadav speaks to CNN News18’s Bhupendra Chaubey on a range of topics.

People in the state say political parties aren’t able to find a right reply to demonetization. Isn’t this correct?

It’s also incumbent upon the state government to make it a success and I, on the very first day of demonetisation, wrote a letter saying that it is the Centre’s responsibility to see that people are not inconvenienced. The fact is people have faced huge problems. They had to queue up. A few died standing in the queue and if people from any party came forward to help them, it was our Samajwadi Party.

You even wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking information on the impact of note ban and how people benefited from it…

Yes, I wrote letters as I wanted to know how much money has reached bank branches. The Centre has not given that information yet and people have to face huge problems.

So the economic policy was wrong?

If someone with black money pays tax on it, it becomes white. Similarly, if someone with legal earning doesn’t pay tax, the earning becomes black. So, money is never black, our transaction may be in black or white.

PM Modi doesn’t understand this issue? Does he feel that all the hidden money was in black and all that black money is now into the banking system?

If that money was black, even if we go by his statistics, the money would have fetched government revenue. Modi imprudently got that money deposited. Secondly, the money deposited were fake or real? In a hurry, he got all the money deposited.

You are the chief of the Samajwadi Party and your party has given much enjoyment (thanks to the family feud that played out in public) to the people in the last three months…

That’s not an issue. I say that some people died standing in bank queues; a child was born while his mother was standing in the queue and he was named Khazanji by bank employees, this is the real story.
I travelled to Saifai (the Mulayam family village), people say that Netaji (Mulayam Yadav) wronged you. So is the feud in the family over?

Yes, it is over now.

Definitely?

Definitely, now we are going to the polls. We are going to form government and my whole focus now is on that.

Today your father (Mulayam Yadav) said that he will campaign for you. It’s a good thing but he changes his stand every day

All the supporters of Samajwadi Party want Netaji to appeal to people to elect the SP-Congress alliance government in the state.

In Muzaffarnagar people say that impact of demonetisation is bigger than the riots of 2013. In your view, did you handle the whole issue properly?

What has happened in Muzaffarnagar is sad, people died. Our government did many things in the state to prevent the riot. BJP is trying to destabilize the law and order in the state, they are trying to communalize society for votes. Now people of Uttar Pradesh understand all this.

Why did you give Congress 105 seats in the state?

People trust us and now they know our alliance is going to form the government in the state.

If you form the government tomorrow, will you get blessings from your uncle Shivpal Yadav?

If he forms a new party, how can it be possible?

The SP has opposed Congress for long time, now you are in alliance. Is Rahul Gandhi a liability or asset?

We both are young, he is not a liability. There’s a long way to go for both of us.

Now you have been campaigning for one and half months in the state. What is the main point according to you?

The government has done a lot of work in infrastructure sector, we already linked 50 district headquarters. We need to make an expressway control room for smooth traffic. Health, education, pension are all promises I have made in my manifesto and I hope people of Uttar Pradesh
will once again vote for our government in the state.

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