Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday took a swipe at Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohiya) leader Shivpal Singh Yadav and said that he has become "something like a football" getting "kicked by both teams".
The Chief Minister's remarks came after Shivpal campaigned for the Samajwadi Party candidate Dimple Yadav in the upcoming Mainpuri Lok Sabha by-polls. Shivpal and Akhilesh Yadav were reportedly reeling under differences following the defeat in the Assembly elections earlier this year, in which the former had contested on the Samajwadi Party ticket.
Notably, Shivpal and Akhilesh were earlier indulged in a war of words with the latter stating that the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohiya) leader is free to go where ever he gets more respect. The former had called the remark Akhilesh's "political immaturity".
However, the tensions seemingly eased as the two leaders were seen in recent family functions following the demise of the party veteran and former Chief Minister of the state Mulayam Singh Yadav. Recently, Akhilesh was seen touching Shivpal's feet on the stage while campaigning in Mainpuri.
Taking a jibe at Shivpal following the recent developments, Yogi, while addressing an election rally in poll-bound Mainpuri, said, "He has become something like a pendulum, or a football that gets kicked by both teams. We saw how last time he was insulted on stage through denial of a chair and had to sit on the arm of a chair".
Further recalling Mulayam Singh's statement in the Parliament "Jeetegi to BJP hi" (only BJP will win), Yogi said that the BJP won Lok Sabha seats of Azamgarh and Rampur "with his blessings".
"Again, you (people) have an opportunity to realize Netaji's dream by ensuring BJP's victory in the Mainpuri LS bypolls and script history," he said.
The Chief Minister said that the SP will "try to play an emotional card", and asked the people not to get "misled by them".
"Socialism and secularism are empty slogans for Samajwadi Party, which treats politics as a family business," he said.
"They have nothing to do with development or welfare and prosperity of people. They can't stand with you during a crisis. They were nowhere to be seen during the novel coronavirus. All they are interested in is their own as well as their families' interests," CM Yogi added.
Urging people to become part of the "larger BJP family", Yogi said that the BJP Government alone has the intention, dedication and commitment to improving people's lives through development projects and welfare schemes.
"We are building houses and toilets for people. We are providing ration to 15 crore people. During the pandemic, we provided free tests, treatments and vaccines to people. We are providing an annual pension of Rs 12000 to the old, widows, destitute women and differently-abled", he remarked.
"When the NDA Government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over in 2014, the PM gave the slogan of "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas", which means development and welfare of all, but discrimination against none and appeasement to none and the party has strictly followed this dictum in discharging its duties," he added.
Seeking votes for Raghuraj Singh Shakya, a former SP MP and a close aide of Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav, who is pitted against Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple Yadav, Yogi said that the development of Mainpuri can gain momentum if the local leadership is also from the BJP.
The voting for the by-poll will take place on December 5, and the counting of votes will take place on December 8. (ANI)