Kumbh’s political currents: Akhilesh Yadav too takes a dip

SP chief makes surprise visit to Kumbh.

Updated - January 28, 2019 01:08 am IST

Published - January 27, 2019 10:25 pm IST - LUCKNOW

On the Kumbh bandwagon: SP chief Akhilesh Yadav returns after taking a dip in the Ganga.

On the Kumbh bandwagon: SP chief Akhilesh Yadav returns after taking a dip in the Ganga.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday sprung a surprise with a visit to the Kumbh Mela and a dip at the Sangam, the confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswathi.

Interacting with presspersons, he hinted that there was little space for compromise with the Congress even after the hype generated by the entry of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as general secretary in charge of party affairs in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

The alliance of the SP and the BSP is “an alliance of the people”, Mr. Yadav said, adding that he had “full faith that the people will support this alliance”.

While his ally, BSP chief Mayawati, is yet to comment on Ms. Vadra’s political elevation, the party’s U.P. president R.S. Kushwaha said the decision would help the SP-BSP alliance.

“If she contests strongly, we will gain. Whatever votes she cuts will be those of the BJP,” Mr. Kushwaha said in Deoria.

Mr. Yadav also paid obeisance at the famous Bade Hanuman Mandir near the Sangam, known for its reclining idol.

His visit deepened the political focus on the Kumbh Mela, where Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is scheduled to hold a Cabinet meeting on January 29, followed by the VHP’s deliberations on the Ram Mandir during its Dharma Sabha two days later.

Mr. Yadav said the decision to hold a Cabinet meeting on the banks on the Sangam or to change the name of Ardh Kumbh to Kumbh would be “incomplete” if farmers did not prosper and the youth did not get jobs.

Mr. Yadav also met the president of the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, the body of 13 major Hindu sects in the country.

Ayodhya dispute

Targeting Mr. Adityanath for his comments that the Ayodhya dispute could be solved within 24 hours if handed over by the Surpreme Court “to us,” Mr. Yadav advised him to instead focus on solving the issue of stray cattle in U.P. in the upcoming 90 days.

Saando se khet bachalo (save the fields from the bulls),” Mr. Yadav advised the Chief Minister, while saying that the apex court would handle the Ayodhya case.

Mr. Yadav said if voted to power, the SP would make public the caste-wise census to prevent communities from “spreading hatred” against each other. His is seen as a response to allegations that the SP worked only for the Yadavs.

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