The much talked about ‘Vikas Rath Yatra’ of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav got off to a rough start as Samajwadi Party workers clashed with each other at the venue. Now the ‘hi-tech rath’ has broken down after barely 1 kilometer journey. Work is on to repair the Mercedes bus. CM Akhilesh, however, is continuing the yatra in his car. Another report has emerged that schools in Lucknow remained close owing to the rath yatra. However, the stage was perfectly set for the showdown of strength by the CM to outwit his political rivals in the state and within the family- chiefly his uncle Shivpal Yadav. The yatra is supposed to be flagged off by Mulayam Singh Yadav. SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, Shivpal Yadav and the CM were seen together on a single dais delivering speeches after ugly ruckus. “I wish all the best to AkhileshYadav and congratulate him for the Vikas Rath Yatra,” Shivpal said amid the chaos. Mulayam has taken swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the alleged suicide of Ram Kishan Grewal over the delay in implementation of the One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme. “PM should meet martyrs’ kin,” he said while “dedicating” the country’s brave. Mulayam also wished Akhilesh even as he flagged off the yatra.
Meanwhile, in a relief for the beleaguered SP, Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and RLD will join the its silver jubilee on November 5. Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and RLD have decided to attend Samajwadi Party Swarn Jayanti Samaroh on Nov 5, Chief General Secretary K C Tyagi said.
“In coming times I am sure that farmers, youth, everyone will support us for all the development that SP brings,” Akhilesh said as he began his journey. He was accompanied by his wife and party MP Dimple Yadav. “This will be a historic beginning, we can see so much youth force. We are very positive about the elections,” Dimple said.
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) November 3, 2016
On the situation on borders, Mulayam said, “We don’t want any Indo-Pak war or soldiers sacrificing lives on border, there should be a via media solution.”
“Ram Manohar Lohia had given a message of humanity at international level and SP believes in it,” he said.
Addressing slogan-shouting youths, Mulayam said, “Slogans like Bhaiya jeevan tere naam” (life is for you brother) will not work and you have to “struggle”.
“The path of samajwad is difficult…I have faced lathis in agitations. This samajwadi movement is made after sacrifices. SP is party of sacrifice and struggle. I know when there is lathicharge, every one runs away and only 4-5 persons stay back,” he said advising youths.
“I congratulate Akhilesh for the yatra and wish him all success,” he said.
Earlier, SP state president Shivpal, who arrived with brother Mulayam in the event, said he wanted to “congratulate” Akhilesh for the yatra “wishing it success”.
“The yatra is being taken out under the leadership of Akhilesh. It will give a message to the entire UP and popularise works being done by our government and ideologies of SP,” he said.
The “target” of the party is to form government again in 2017, Shivpal said, adding, “We want to ensure that BJP should not form government and SP gets absolute majority once again.”
“I want to appeal and request all of you to join silver jubilee celebrations of the party on November 5,” Shivpal said, asking youths to participate with full enthusiasm.
Before embarking on the highly-publicised rath yatra to highlight the development works undertaken by him during the last over four years, the 43-year-old chief minister said the “tradition” of yatras was started in the state by ‘netaji’ and he was taking it out for the third time.
“I want to thank youths for this historic event. Netaji had taken out yatra and I am going on for the yatra of the third time. From this yatra, we appeal to people to vote in favour of our party,” he said.
Mentioning the delay in the yatra by about a month, Akhilesh said, “We had to take out the yatra on October 3, but due to certain circumstances, we could not do it. Now, we will try to reach maximum people through the yatra.”
“Elections are round the corner and there will be comparison of works done by government. SP government has continuously focused on development without discrimination on basis of caste. This election is decisive in changing politics of the country and SP will form government again in 2017. In future (after 2017) also, only SP and its socialist ideology can bring a change in the country,” the CM said.
Highlighting his government’s works, Akhilesh said his government tried to strike a “balance” in development.
“While we constructed metro, we also thought of cycle. We made expressway but also connected district headquarters by roads…Our schemes of Samajwadi Pension, laptop distribution and Lohia Awas Yojana have benefited people,” he said.
On recent controversy within the party and family, Akhilesh said, “Due to some conspiracies we were bit rattled up, but in the days to come we will be able to form government again.”
Shivpal said the “vikas sey vijay ki aur yatra” will send a message of unity across the state and halt BJP in its tracks. “Our target is to prevent BJP from coming to power in the state in the crucial 2017 elections,” he said. The enthusiasm among the youth leaders was palpable right since early morning with hordes of young party workers donning red cap making a bee line to the venue, the very place where Akhilesh took oath as chief minister in 2012. As some youths jostled to reach the venue, Shivpal advised them to calm down. “Josh mein hosh na kho dein (don’t lose your cool in enthusiasm),” he said. Ahead of the flag off event, Ramgopal Yadav’s son and MP Akshay Yadav said, “People will vote for Akhilesh. We will contest in his name and win.”
Assembly Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey, SP Vice President Kironmoy Nanda, Naresh Agarwal, MP Dharmendra Yadav and ministers Rajendra Chowdhury, Manoj Kumar Pandey, Narendra Verma, Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, Balram Yadav, Parasnath Yadav, Vinod Kumar alias Pandit Singh, Rammurti Verma, Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya and Arvind Singh Gope besides a number of sacked youth leaders were present.
Check out the video of the feud
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) November 3, 2016
The supporters of both Akhilesh and Shivpal factions are keeping an eye on the development and the entire route of yatra is dotted with hoardings, banners and colourful arches to welcome the ‘Vikas Sey Vijay Tak’ rath yatra starting from Lucknow. The beleaguered leaders desperately wanted to send a message of unity in the ruling party before the 2017 UP assembly elections. A hoarding put up by a youth leader close to Shivpal says “Shivpal kahey dil se, Akhilesh ka abhishek phir se” (Shivpal says from his heart to make Akhilesh CM again), while some others only highlight Akhilesh’s achievements. A cavalcade of over 5,000 SUVs and trucks will seek to send a message to the party leadership that 43-year-old Akhilesh is the “most acceptable” face of SP.
Notably, on November 5, the ruling party is all set to celebrate its silver jubilee and the man in-charge of it is Shivpal Yadav.