Launching the campaign for the 2014 parliament elections, the Samajwadi party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav avoided secular rhetoric and focused on key national issues including economy, border skirmishes in Kashmir, intrusion by the Chinese army, inflation and corruption of the UPA government. Though the SP chief harped on `Kisan and Mussalman’, (farmers and Muslims) in his hour-long speech, there was no mention of the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar. Avoiding direct attack on the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate he made a brief reference instead about Narendra Modi, and projected himself as a serious contender for the top job of the country.
“Narendra Modi is visible only in Gujarat and TV news channels while Samajwadi party is everywhere. SP has organized the first rally in the East, the land of sunrise, and I am sure that this place will ensure the rise of the party in the next parliament elections; it will have enough seats to emerge as the largest party in the Third Front, which will take shape after the elections next year”, said the SP chief while addressing the huge rally in Azamgarh.
“Left parties and many other secular parties including the Samajwadi party leaders are meeting in Delhi, which is a formal platform for the Third Front. Even if it is not formed after the 2014 elections the SP will not compromise on its ideology. It’s for you to decide whether you want to see a strong or a weak SP after elections”, he said in the ‘Desh Bachao, Desh Banao’ rally, which was attended by almost the entire cabinet including the Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
“The UPA government in the last 10 years has given nothing except scams and scandals and inflation. The next parliament elections are very important and this opportunity will never come again – be prepared to give a fitting reply to the opponents and ensure that the candidates of the opposition party lose their security deposits”, said the SP chief exhorting the people to vote for the SP.
“During the last ten years of the Congress-led UPA rule in the country, 5 lakh people have died of hunger and many farmers have committed suicide due to the economic slowdown. When I was the Minister of Defence in the United Front government headed by Prime Minister HD Devegowda, the economic growth rate was over 6 percent and today it has plummeted to 4.5 percent. Both the Congress and the BJP have no solution for the economy. The turnaround in the economy can be achieved only by the upliftment of farmers and minorities, and by reclaiming huge tracts of waste land”, said the SP chief adding, “my 31 months tenure as the Defence Minister in the United Front government was the best period for the country – Pakistan and China never dared intrusion and violation of the international borders then”.
Targeting the Congress, Singh said, “Congress has deliberately subverted the office of the Prime Minister and undermined his authority which has weakened the nation. This is not good for the nation and we do not want to see a weak prime minister”. Manmohan Singh is a weak prime minister who is unable to take decisions, he added.
Praising the UP government headed by his son Akhilesh Yadav, the SP chief said, “No other state in the country is providing free education, free health care, free irrigation, loan waiver for the farmers, unemployment allowance and financial assistance to the school and college going girls. Many states like Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttarakhand are copying the welfare schemes launched by the SP government in UP”.
The SP chief also criticised the media for dubbing the event as the “Yadav-Muslim” rally. “The media has a jaundiced view, Samajwadi party does not subscribe to the ideology of caste and creed. We believe in samata (equality) and sampannata (prosperity), not discrimination on the basis of caste and creed”.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and state president of the SP in his brief address said that only SP can control the inflation of the country through its economic policies. Urging the people to support SP, he said some communal parties are trying to polarize the voters but they would never succeeded in their nefarious designs as the people of the state have long shunned sectarian and divisive politics.