Lucknow: Launching a blistering attack on the BJP here on Saturday, Samajwadi Party chief and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said the party suppressed the Dalits and the backward communities and the people are ready to give their reply in the elections.
Yadav's comments came soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday accused political parties that claim to be followers of socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia, of betraying his (Lohia's) principles.
"They (BJP) should remember that the Dalits and the backward community are aware of their mindset. And people are now ready to give their reply in the Lok Sabha polls.
"When the BJP came to power it said it will hug the backward community. But they have suppressed the Dalits and the backward community," he said.
Referring to the incident of burning his and BSP chief Mayawati's photos during the Holika dahan ceremony in Barabanki district, Yadav said: "In a democracy to oppose (against something), effigies are burnt, but by burning someone's picture on the day of a festival, I want to ask the BJP, what kind of nationalism and social justice was that."
On Sam Pitroda's controversial statement over the Balakot air strikes by the Indian Air Force, he said: "The BJP cannot issue the certificate of nationalism to people. For the sacrifices and valour of the armed forces, we always have respect."
The Samajwadi Party leader also asked for the reason behind the intelligence failure in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama. "When the Opposition parties want to know how there was such a big intelligence failure, the government does not want to answer. And that's why I have said a number of times that the BJP knows how to divert the attention of people from real issues."
He also said that earlier the entire debate was on 'chaiwala', but now it is on 'chowkidaar'.
He added that the BJP has failed to keep its promises.
Accusing the BJP of not giving employment to the youth, he said that due to demonetisation and GST crores of youth lost their jobs. "They promised to bring 'achhe din', but they brought 'bure din' for the people."
On when he will file his nomination papers for the Azamgarh parliamentary constituency, he said, "Will do that soon if people are demanding. And will also decide on Dimple Yadav's (his wife) candidature from Kannauj as people are asking her to contest."
He added that the candidate for Varanasi will be announced soon along with the candidates for the other parliamentary constituencies.
On Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath kicking off the BJP campaign in the state, he said: "Don't tell me about the CM.
"We have heard that he (Yogi Adityanath) played Holi wearing a rain coat. Holi is the festival of colours, and if the colours are not smeared on your face then it is not Holi.
Commenting on the many public meetings of the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister in the state, he said: "We want him to go to the people and tell them about the work of his government in the last two years."
The SP leader described the social media team of the BJP as "Internet terrorists" and demanded action against them.
"The kind of language they use is not good and we do not want to use such language," he added.