After SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, his son and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday launched a blistering attack on the Congress, alleging anybody who does not act according to its wishes faces “persecution” through CBI.
Mr. Akhilesh claimed that the UPA will suffer heavily in the next Lok Sabha elections due to “widespread dissatisfaction” among the people of the country.
Talking to reporters here on the sidelines of a function, Akhilseh however made it clear that the Samajwadi Party will “continue to support the UPA government to keep communal forces at bay” even as he asserted “we are fully prepared for the elections, whenever they take place”.
Asked about the party supremo’s statement that elections could take place as early as November this year, the UP CM said “political developments and media reports hint at such a possibility”.
On Friday, Mr. Mulayam had told reporters, “Congress used to take support by threatening. I supported the UPA government in bad times but Congress has put CBI after me.”
To the BJP’s charge that the SP, by supporting the UPA, was acting under pressure fearing CBI action against some of its top leaders, Mr. Akhilesh evaded a direct reply but said “it is a fact that anybody who does not act according to the wishes of the Congress party, faces persecution through CBI”.
The UP CM also claimed that his party will “come out with its best-ever performance” in the Lok Sabha polls as “people will weigh our pro-people initiatives against the previous corrupt BSP regime in the state. Besides, widespread dissatisfaction with the Centre will cost the Congress heavily across the country and in UP we will be the biggest gainers”.
Without naming the Congress or the BJP, Mr. Akhilesh also said, “parties which struggled to get 5,000-10,000 votes in the Assembly polls in most of the constituencies will be able to win not more than 4-5 seats out of 80 in Lok Sabha elections”.
He parried a question as to whether the SP will put pressure on the Congress to sack Union minister and friend-turned-foe of Mulayam Singh Yadav, Beni Prasad Verma, who has of late made a number of stinging remarks against SP.
Earlier, the Chief Minister inaugurated a new building complex of the UP Bar Council.
On the law and order situation in the state, Mr. Akhilesh said his government was “fully committed to maintain law and order by taking tough action against those guilty of anti-social conduct as well as any officials whose laxity could be blamed for such situations”.
In a veiled criticism of media, Mr. Yadav also said “I feel surprised that news channels of no other state spend so much time expressing alarm about law and order situation”.
Stating that lawyers played “a very important role in framing of government policies as well as galvanising public opinion”, the Chief Minister announced a slew of measures for the betterment of legal practitioners.
The announcements include, an additional grant of Rs 40 crore for ‘Adhivakta Nidhi’ — a fund for the welfare of advocates — and promised to consider demands like raising insurance cover for advocates from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs five lakh and introducing a pension scheme for lawyers.