After three days of jibes at the Congress, which have put question marks over his party’s relationship with the INDIA bloc, Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav has put out a post on social media which has raised eyebrows for reverting to his ‘PDA’ coinage and leaving out any mention of the opposition alliance.
Ties between the Samajwadi Party and the Congress have been strained since the latter left no seats for its INDIA ally in Madhya Pradesh despite allegedly assuring the SP that it would consider its candidates for six constituencies. A fuming Akhilesh Yadav has been hitting out at the Congress since then and the two parties have ended up fielding candidates against each other on 18 constituencies in the state, which will vote for the Assembly elections on November 17.
In a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday, Mr Yadav shared a photo of an SP worker with his back coloured in the party’s signature red-and-green and a message written on it in Hindi. The message reads. “Mission 2024. May Netaji (late Mulayam Singh Yadav) remain immortal. ‘PDA’ will ensure Akhilesh Yadav wins the election this time. Akhilesh Yadav will ensure the poor get justice.”
होगा 24 का चुनाव
PDA का इंक़लाब pic.twitter.com/K7RUPKPxl6
— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) October 22, 2023
‘PDA’ stands for Pichde (backwards), Dalits and Alpasankhyaks (Minorities) and Mr Yadav has been asserting that PDA will defeat the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the 2024 Lok Sabha election.
In his message with the post, Mr Yadav wrote in Hindi, “The 2024 elections will be PDA’s revolution.”
After the Congress announced a list for Madhya Pradesh, Mr Yadav had, on Thursday, accused the party of “fooling” other parties and even hinted that had the Samajwadi Party known the alliance doesn’t work on state level, it would not have been so open to the INDIA bloc.
“They assured us that they will think about us for six seats. When they announced candidates there was nothing for SP. If I knew there was no alliance on state, then we wouldn’t have met. We wouldn’t have spoken to Congress,” he said.
Asked about these comments, Congress Madhya Pradesh President Kamal Nath had said “Arre bhai chhodo Akhilesh Vakhilesh… (leave this Akhilesh Vakhilesh). The Congress state unit had asserted that the INDIA bloc was at the central level and its focus was on the Lok Sabha polls.
A clearly miffed SP chief continued to attack the Congress on Friday, asking, “If the Congress behaves like this, who will stand with them?”
On Saturday, Mr Yadav said the Congress should not “betray” the Samajwadi party and asked it to make it clear whether it wanted an alliance or not.
“I received a message from someone through the senior-most leader of the Congress party. If he is saying something, I will have to follow. He gave some message,” Akhilesh Yadav said, without revealing any name or explaining further. “But one thing I want to say is: why did they call us if they did not want an alliance?”
“Do not conspire against us, don’t betray us. They should tell us straight that they don’t need Samajwadis. I promise you that we will not talk about alliance even once and will begin preparation to defeat the BJP on our own,” he said.
Mr Yadav also took a dig at the Congress over its support for a caste census and said it was a miracle that the party wanted it now.
“It is the same Congress party that did not give the numbers of the caste census earlier. Now everyone knows that until and unless you don’t have the support of the backward castes and tribes, you won’t succeed,” he said, adding, “It’s a miracle that now the Congress party wants a caste census. Congress party is now aware that the vote they were searching for is not with them anymore.”