Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra | SP president Akhilesh joins Rahul Gandhi, calls for BJP hatao, Desh bachao

The SP president says all sections of society have been affected by BJP rule, says Akhilesh

Updated - February 26, 2024 07:23 am IST

Published - February 25, 2024 06:01 pm IST - Lucknow

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi along with his sister Priyanka Gandhi and Samajwadi party national president Akhilesh Yadav during Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, in Agra, Uttar Pradesh on Sunday.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi along with his sister Priyanka Gandhi and Samajwadi party national president Akhilesh Yadav during Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, in Agra, Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav joined Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in the grand old party’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Agra on Sunday.

Raising the “BJP hatao, Desh bacho” (remove BJP, save the country) slogan, the SP president said the BJP had caused “unimaginable damage” to the country in the past 10 years. “From youth and farmers to women and traders, all sections have been adversely affected by the BJP’s anti-people policies. Today, farmers are standing up against the government. The government is scared of the power of the farmers. Soon, the BJP will be removed and a Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance [INDIA] government will give due respect to farmers. It is high time that the autocratic regime is removed,” said Mr. Yadav, with Mr. Gandhi and Ms. Vadra at his side.

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Mr. Yadav touched upon the alleged paper leak in the U.P. constable recruitment examination and accused the BJP government of deliberately leaking question papers to avoid “providing employment to youth”. “Young men are committing suicide and burning their degree certificates. There is no government recruitment exam in which the paper is not leaked. The government does this deliberately because they do not want to provide employment,” alleged the SP president.

Mr. Yadav stressed the need to defeat the BJP in U.P. - politically the most crucial State in the country - so that it is unseated at the Centre. “This is the challenge of saving democracy and the Constitution. The dream of Babasaheb Ambedkar that the poor and backward people get rights and respect has not been achieved even after so many years and the BJP loots the country. We send out only one message through this programme - remove the BJP, save the country. In U.P., it is ‘Defeat in 80 [seats], remove BJP’,” added Mr. Yadav.

The SP chief joined the yatra only after a seat-sharing agreement was reached on February 21 between the Congress and SP, both partners in the INDIA bloc. Congress will fight 17 seats in the State while the SP will contest from the remaining 63.

Mr. Gandhi, who is leading the Manipur to Mumbai yatra covering 15 States, has been pushing for “economic, social, and political justice” for every Indian. He has targeted the BJP for working at the behest of the “capitalists” while meting out injustice to the poor and farmers. “The loans of Modi’s friends are waived off. Modi’s friends get exemption in corporate tax. Cheap lands are given to them. But did the income of farmers double in the BJP regime?” he wondered. “Were farmer loans waived off? No. The policy of letting the elite 1% of the population squander India’s resources is betrayal of those who built India. Congress is committed to making just policies for every farmer, every labourer and the poor at the end of the line,” said Mr. Gandhi.

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The Congress leader added, “Our first and most important task is to unite against the hatred that has been spread in India... to make brothers fight their own brothers. This is not a country of hatred, but of love. Hate will be replaced with love.”

Ms. Vadra, who has accompanied Mr. Gandhi in the U.P. leg of the yatra from February 24, welcomed the SP president and called on all progressive and democratic forces to unite to defeat the BJP.

The yatra entered the State at Chandauli on February 16. After spending almost a week in U.P., the yatris entered Rajasthan through Dholpur late in the evening.

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