LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday supported West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee’s assertion that her party will support the Congress where it is strong in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Supporting Banerjee’s statement for opposition unity at the national level, Yadav said the party which is strong in a state should contest elections there.
He said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and other parties also hold the same opinion, according to a party statement. Recently, Yadav met Kumar and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav here. He had also participated in a function of the TRS in Telangana earlier this year.
On Monday, Banerjee cleared the air on TMC’s stand on a possible strategy for opposition unity. She said her party will support the Congress where it is strong in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The Samajwadi Party is the main opposition in the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, which sends the maximum 80 members to the Lok Sabha.
The SP in the recent past forged alliance with both Congress and BSP but separated later. Last year, the party had gone into the UP polls with Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) along with Apna Dal (Kamerawadi) and others. Congratulating the people of Karnataka for defeating the BJP, Yadav said the people have rejected those who spread hatred. “BJP works to make the society fight,” he said.
Banerjee said, “Wherever the Congress is strong, let them fight. We will give them support, there is nothing wrong (in that). But they have to support other political parties too.” However, to get support, Congress also has to back other parties, she told reporters in Kolkata.
On urban local body polls in UP, Yadav again alleged the BJP government “murdered the democracy”. “To win the elections, BJP men adopted all tricks. To save democracy, we have to struggle,” Yadav said. He alleged that BJP candidates who were “defeated” were declared victorious and officials worked as “BJP agents”.
Yadav said SP’s vote percentage has increased in urban areas and it has emerged stronger in rural areas. “Had BJP not been involved in dishonesty, it would have been wiped out,” he said.