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Samajwadi Party could win 400 seats 2022 U.P. polls, says Akhilesh Yadav

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav takes out a cycle yatra on the birth anniversary of party leader Janeshwar Mishra in Lucknow on August 5, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday said given the resentment among people towards the Yogi Adityanath government, his party could even win 400 out of the 403 seats in 2022 polls.

“Till now we spoke of 350 seats. The situation is such that the BJP will fall short of candidates. Candidates won’t ask for ticket,” Mr. Yadav said, before embarking on his first major show of strength before the polls.

The former Chief Minister led a cycle rally from the SP headquarters to Janeshwar Mishra Park here on the 89th birth anniversary of the socialist leader.

The move is said to be a part of the SP’s outreach towards the Brahmin community. Similar cycle yatras were held in other districts of the State.

‘Mismanagement’ of COVID-19

Mr. Yadav, speaking to reporters, criticised the BJP government for the “mismanagement” of the second wave of COVID-19. He said people could even reward his party with 400 seats.

The SP won 47 seats in 2017, while the BJP and its allies hit the 325 mark in a sweeping victory.

Mr. Yadav also took a dig at the BJP for inducting former BSP MLA Jitendra Singh ‘Babloo’, who was accused in an arson case in which the house of Rita Bahuguna Joshi, present BJP MP and former Congress leader, was set on fire in 2009. Reacting to the induction, Ms. Joshi said she was stunned and promised to raise it with the top BJP leadership and appeal to them the revocation of the controversial leader’s entry.

Without naming anyone Mr. Yadav made a reference to this. “The party claims to stay away from criminals as elections near, but look how close they are to criminals,” he said.

A drama: Mayawati

The SP’s cycle yatra triggered a reaction from Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati, who herself has launched a full-fledged State-wide campaign through her close aide Satish Chandra Mishra to woo Brahmins.

In a tweet, she said the SP remembered Janeshwar Mishra and his community, “oppressed by the BJP”, and dubbed the cycle yatra as a drama enacted for “political selfishness and cheap popularity.”

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 3:18:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/samajwadi-party-could-win-400-seats-2022-up-polls-says-akhilesh-yadav/article35740993.ece

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