Samajwadi Party (SP) National President Akhilesh Yadav has made it clear that "those who are with the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) will not be taken on board the INDIA alliance".
He made this remark on Monday evening in Uttar Pradesh's Sultanpur when asked about the possibility of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) being included in the INDIA bloc.
In an apparent jibe at the State Congress leadership for claiming that it was preparing to contest all 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh said, "Why only 80? They may contest many more seats across the country. The Congress deserves to decide how many seats they want to contest, but when it comes to the INDIA alliance, the decision will be taken by the Congress' national leadership. When discussions are being held at the national level, then such questions should not come up. Such questions seem an attempt to create a rift in the alliance."
The SP National President was hopeful that the INDIA coalition would win the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
"The public will come in support of INDIA and it will win. Also, the BJP will suffer its worst defeat in Uttar Pradesh."
Akhilesh also attacked the BJP government in the state over the murder of a doctor in Sultanpur allegedly carried out by a cousin of the District President of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha over a property dispute.
He said: "Bulldozer's steering is in the BJP's hands. Whenever any BJP person is at fault, then the bulldozer's keys get misplaced. Wherever there are murders over land disputes, the BJP's people are involved."
He added that he attempted to visit the slain doctor Ghanshyam Tiwari, but the police did not allow him citing law and order issue.
Akhilesh was in Sultanpur to express condolences with the family of former SP MLA Abrar Ahmed, who died of ill-health in August.