Samajwadi Party (SP) President Akhilesh Yadav has finally agreed to support the Congress in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
This is a major shift in the SP stand since the party, till now, had vehemently opposed the Congress, terming it as a "B-team of the BJP".
Akhilesh has now backed West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) Chief Mamata Banerjee's statement for opposition unity at the national level, saying the party which is strong in a state should contest elections there.
The change in Akhilesh's stand is good news for the Congress which has been facing resistance from the SP and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh, and where the Congress remains in a dismal position.
The SP Chief said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao and other parties also hold the same opinion.
Incidentally, Akhilesh had met Kumar last month in Lucknow to discuss opposition unity but Akhilesh had maintained a studied silence on the inclusion of Congress in the platform.
The West Bengal CM on Monday had said her party will support the Congress wherever it is strong. The TMC Chief, however, also sought support from the Congress in West Bengal, suggesting the grand old party should back regional parties wherever they are strong.
"Wherever the Congress is strong, let them fight. We will give them support, there is nothing wrong (in that). But they have to support other political parties also," Banerjee had told reporters.
Responding to a question on the Karnataka elections, Yadav said people are the winners in the state.
"The BJP always does politics of hatred, but it has been defeated by the public in Karnataka. People have voted against inflation," he said.
The SP Chief claimed that fake Aadhaar cards were used for casting votes in the Uttar Pradesh urban local body (ULB) elections and this also made the BJP's victory "fake".
"Officials were acting on the instructions of BJP leaders during the elections," Yadav added.
The BJP swept the Mayoral elections in Uttar Pradesh, winning all 17 Mayoral seats.
The SP Chief claimed that thousands of fake Aadhaar cards were found in Uttar Pradesh's Kannauj. A woman legislator of the ruling BJP visited polling booths and got fake votes cast, he claimed, without naming anyone.
In Chandauli, Yadav claimed, a transgender candidate won, but the result was changed. However, the actual result was restored after transgender people chased officials with sticks, he added.
"Votes were openly looted from Kannauj to Mainpuri. Just like transgender people saved democracy by picking up sticks in Chandauli, everyone will have to be ready to save democracy," he said.
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