Indore:

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Friday said his party is hopeful of forming an alliance of opposition parties to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party in next year’s Lok Sabha polls and that the Congress should join regional parties in their bastions to fight the BJP.

“I am hopeful that chief ministers like K Chandrasekhar Rao, Mamata Banerjee and Nitish Kumar and the way we are trying, some alliance or front will be formed which will take on the BJP (in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls),” Mr Yadav told reporters at the Indore Press Club.”

Earlier, the SP chief also paid tribute to Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar on his 132nd birth anniversary at the Dalit icon’s memorial in Mhow. Replying to a question on opposition unity against the BJP, he said the Congress is a national party and it has to decide its own role in this regard.

“The Congress has got an opportunity to stand with regional parties in places where the latter are strong to take on the BJP,” he said.

He added that since the Congress is a big party, the SP is not giving any suggestions to it, but is definitely presenting its point of view to it.

“They (Congress) did a padyatra (foot march), but it didn’t ask us anything about it,” the SP president said, referring to the “Bharat Jodo Yatra” led by former Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

A day after gangster Atiq Ahmed’s son Asad and his accomplice were killed in an encounter with the Special Task Force (STF) of the Uttar Pradesh police in Jhansi, Mr Yadav once again attacked the ruling BJP by raising the issue of “fake encounters”.

He alleged that people were being killed in fake encounters in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh “in view of elections”.

“We have faith in the judiciary. The judiciary can take suo motu cognisance of cases of fake encounters. Those who feel that their kin have been killed in fake encounters should go to court against it,” Mr Yadav said.

Asked about the deaths of dreaded gangsters in police encounters in Uttar Pradesh, the SP president said his party was not with any criminal, but asked why the UP government was discriminating against people on the basis of “caste and religion”? Hitting out at the BJP, he said, “In which direction are you taking the country? These people want to divide the society to rule.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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