Akhilesh Yadav. Image Courtesy : NDTV
Lucknow: The decision by Opposition parties to go solo in the Uttar Pradesh bypolls helped expose the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) "darker side" and effectively conveyed the message of their "failure", Samajwadi Party (SP) President Akhilesh Yadav said.
Fresh from the SP's victory in the recently concluded bypolls in Uttar Pradesh, Yadav also said that he would revamp the party soon.
The SP turned out to be a major gainer in the UP Assembly bypolls for 11 seats, wresting a seat each from the ruling BJP and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), while the National Democratic Alliance got eight, one less than it held.
Hitting out at BJP, Yadav said the people voted against the saffron party and the politics of hatred, casteism and corruption.
"The BJP used to shield itself from its failure on issues related to the common man by making allegations whenever we formed an alliance to take on the saffron party jointly. They used to say that all political parties have ganged up against the BJP and the message of their failure could not be properly conveyed," Yadav told PTI in his first interview after the bypoll outcome.
"Now the same thing is being said by Opposition parties separately and people have got to know the darker side of the BJP as it could not counter the Opposition onslaught. The more people know the reality of the BJP, the more they will get disenchanted with it," he said.
About SP's role in the future, Yadav said, "The message is clear. Those who work on the ground will gain and emerge victorious. We will continue to raise issues of people's interest and will stand with them."
Yadav charged that in the present BJP regime, corruption is at its peak and 'sarkari goondagardi' (hooliganism of the government) is ruling the roost.
The party's victory in Rampur, he said, was enough to gauge the anger of people against the administration, which has lodged a number of "fake" cases, including goat and buffalo theft charges, against senior SP leader and Lok Sabha member Azam Khan.
Terming the victory of SP candidates in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra as people's mandate to save democracy, he said it was an indication of people's anger against the faulty, "anti-people policies" of the BJP.
About the possibility of the SP forming an alliance in the future, he said, "I have taken political risks. Arithmetic is done in elections...but all fail in front of those who remain with the people and raise their voice."
Citing the victory of SP candidates in Jalalpur and Ghosi Assembly seats, he said, "In Jalalpur, our candidate Subhash Rai won as he got votes of all sections. He did not have any arithmetic in his favour but he won as he was there with the people."
"In Ghosi, Sudhakar Singh fought in adverse conditions. He contested as an Independent as he could not get the party symbol timely while filing nominations. He lost by a narrow margin," he said.
"The SP has won in Rampur, Jalalpur and Zaidpur constituencies despite administrative pressure and misuse of official machinery. Party candidate Tazeen Fatma won despite the BJP's one-point agenda to target her and party MP Azam Khan," Yadav said.
He alleged that the BJP was doing politics of vendetta and harassing party workers by lodging fake cases but the party will continue its protests against the BJP misrule.
Asked about his party organisation, which he had dissolved, Yadav said he would revamp the party soon.
"We will make it strong at the Vidhan Sabha level and ensure that our issues reach the village level and people understand the reality," he said.
The SP leader refused to comment on the BSP's performance in bypolls. "It is their matter and they will see what went wrong. I will not comment on it," he said. The BSP drew a blank in the bypolls to fill 11 vacant seats and yielded to the SP the one seat it had held.