New Delhi: Opening up about the rift within the Yadav family, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday said that the feud did not hinder governance in Uttar Pradesh in any way.
Speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, the chief minister said that the Samajwadi Party (SP) government had maintained its focus on infrastructure development and social welfare despite the infighting which rocked the Yadav family and the party.
“There were differences between leaders but no one came in the way of the government and its functioning. We have completed the construction of the Agra-Lucknow expressway in a record 23 months, trial runs of the Lucknow metro started yesterday, we have distributed 16 lakh laptops so far. Thus, we continued working despite differences arising in the party,” Yadav said.
He said that about one crore people had registered for the recently launched Samajwadi Smartphone Yojana.
Asked whether or not Yadav wanted SP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh to continue in the SP, he said that he did not have the authority to take a decision on the matter.
“I am no longer the party state president, so this decision will be made by netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav). However, if he remains in the party, I hope he works to take the party forward and not otherwise,” the chief minister said.
Yadav called the fight in the party and the family a learning experience.
“Such experiences are important in politics as they make you learn a lot and you end up becoming stronger,” he said.
On whether he considers the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to be competition, the chief minister said that he did not consider BSP to be a challenger.
“BSP is not in the fight anymore. It has no issues to fight on besides empty rhetoric. Moreover, BSP has formed a government with the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) thrice in the past and the public will not forget it,” Yadav said.
He also dismissed talk of an alliance with the BSP or BJP, but said that the SP would be open to an alliance with the Congress and other parties, if they approached the party.
“We can work together if the Congress is willing to do so,” Yadav said.
The chief minister also hit out at the Union government for its decision to ban high-value currency notes.
“In a democracy, whoever troubles the public with such forced decisions, it is not forgiven or forgotten easily,” he said.