Subtly playing up his caste identity in Azamgarh, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday reminded the BJP that if it had sold Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a chaiwalein 2014, he was also backed by milkmen.
“If they are chaiwale, we are also doodwale,” Mr. Yadav declared at a public meeting after filing his nomination from the Purvanchal seat known for its dominant Yadav politics.
The Yadav community is traditionally associated with the milk industry and in Azamgarh, the BJP has fielded a Bhojpuri actor, Nirahua (Dinesh Lal Yadav), against the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.
“These people had come before us as chaiwalas. Tell us, didn’t the tea turn out to be bad? Won’t the tea be made well only if the milk is good,” Mr. Yadav requested.
The SP president played the victim card as he revived how the Chief Minister’s official residence on Lucknow’s Kalidas Marg occupied by him for five years was washed with gangajal before Yogi Adityanath could occupy it.
He introduced to how the BJP government had sent police and media persons to inspect his government-allotted residence and accused the Yadav family of stealing the taps installed in the house.
“We have also resolved that when this Lucknow wale thokidar (Yogi Adityanath) goes away, officials will have to search the [CM’s] residence till they find chillums (pipes used to smoke cannabis),” Mr. Yadav stated, taking a dig at the Chief Minister.
Mr. Yadav replaces his father Mulayam Singh as the party candidate in Azamgarh, where the Yadavs, Muslims and Jatavs are found in large numbers. Mr. Yadav’s contesting from Azamgarh is seen as a move to galvanize the core Yadav supporters of the SP in the region.
Allaying fears that he would not be available for the common people after winning, Mr. Yadav said he shared a dil ka rishta with the constituency and called it a second home after Etawah. The SP president also hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for labeling the anti-BJP alliance as mahamilavati(adulterated), saying it was a mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) for mahaparivartan (big change).“If BJP and its people call this alliance of three parties as mahamilavat, the BJP has 38 parties. What mahamilavat will you call it,” he asked.