Samajwadi Party (SP) wants to ensure victory for the opposition in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and for this the party is willing to “sacrifice” seats for the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), announced SP president Akhilesh Yadav.

In May, the by-elections for Gorakhpur and Phulpur were won by SP, with the support of the BSP. Those two seats were vacated by the BJP – chief minister Yogi Adityanath and deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya.

The BJP was again defeated in a Lok Sabha by-election in May in the Kairana sear where a so called ‘mahagatbandhan’ between the Congress, the Rashtriya Lok Dal, SP, and BSP was formed. Since then, talks about opposition unity has gained traction as a viable option of defeating the BJP in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

“Our alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will continue. Even if we have to give up a few seats in 2019, we will do it. We have to ensure BJP’s defeat,” Akhilesh said in Mainpuri on Sunday.

With regards to reports that he had left his government accommodation as a chief minister in a shamble, Akhilesh said that the allegation was false and were being slapped against him only to dent his image.

“I will pay for the damages and losses incurred by the government, if any,” he added.

The BJP only raises those issues that they believe would get them votes in elections, Akhilesh said, and added that the BJP only made false promises.

“In one election, the BJP rakes up the issue of ‘Padmavati’ while in the other it talks about Jinnah. Voters should remain alert,” he said, adding that the BJP’s tactics were no longer working.

“Farmers are committing suicide but the government is not addressed their grievances. Patients do not get ambulances and pro-poor schemes have lost priority under the present regime,” Akhilesh said.

Akhilesh also claimed that the BJP government in UP was openly supporting corruption.

“Senior officers are being accused of indulging in corruption but attempts are being made to hush up the cases,” he said.

Akhilesh also threw a challenge to the Yogi government and dared the present UP government to complete the construction of the proposed Purvanchal Expressway expressway in a period of 17 months. That would prove that the present government is better that his government that had completed the construction of the Agra-Lucknow expressway in record time of 19 months.

Despite intense campaigning by BJP leaders, the loss of BJP in Kairana and Noorpur was mocked by Akhilesh while referring to the SP’s success in by-elections in UP.

“The Prime Minister held a road show on a 9-km stretch but lost while I won despite not going there for campaigning,” he said.

“The PM visits Pakistan to have ‘kheer’ while jawans are being killed on border,” Akhilesh alleged criticising PM’s foreign policy.

(Adapted from TheHindustanTimes.com)