Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Thursday exhorted his Samajwadi Party workers and supporters to rise to challenges of price hike, anti-farmer policies of the central government and communal policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
He also said that the state has no place for the BJP`s policies.
Addressing a Desh Bachao, Desh Banao (Save country, build nation) rally at Bareilly, Akhilesh Yadav also listed his government`s achievements and said other state governments were aping his policies like distribution of laptops, Kanya Vidya Dhan schemes and others.
"The challenge is biggest for us and we not only have to ensure development of the state, but also take on the communal challenges," he said.
Admitting problems, he said by not hiking the prices of sugarcane, the government was trying to strike a balance between every stakeholder in the state.
The chief minister blamed the Congress for price hike, inflation and corruption, and asked the workers to ensure presence of more party members in the next Lok Sabha.
Party general secretary and Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Yadav said the media should pan their cameras to show the large turnout.
He also castigated the BJP for deciding to honour its two legislators, Sangeet Som and Suresh Rana, accused of inciting mobs through hate speeches that led to Muzaffaranagar riots.
"The true colours of BJP are now out and they want to send a message that whoever will do similar things will be praised by them," Ram Gopal Yadav, who is a cousin of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, said.
Urban Development Minister Mohd Azam Khan called for unity among communities and pointed out how unity in diversity and tolerance were the biggest assets of the country.
SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav said the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections were a watershed moment for secular forces and predicted that both the BJP and the Congress will not get a majority on their own.
Referring to a huge chunk of Lok Sabha seats in Odisha, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, Mulayam Singh Yadav said the SP was gaining popularity in urban areas also.
He said he was contesting the Lok Sabha polls and asked the people whether they want to send him strong or weak in the next Lok Sabha.
The BJP said the SP was trying to divert the attention of the people of Uttar Pradesh from their failures to non-issues like secularism.
"This government has failed miserably on all fronts and the national leadership knows it pretty well. Attempts to malign our leaders is just an expression of their frustration," said Vijay Bahadur Pathak, state spokesman of the BJP.