Zee Media Bureau
Lucknow: Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday dared Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections from Uttar Pradesh.
Commenting on speculations that the campaign committee chairperson of Bharatiya Janata Party can contest from UP, Yadav told mediapersons that the Gujarat CM is free to fight election from any seat in the state.
He, however, added that people in UP cannot be divided on communal lines.
"He is free to contest from anywhere in the state though he is unwelcome as the people of Uttar Pradesh are peace-loving and would not like to be divided on communal lines."
Narendra Modi will realise himself what UP really is, added Yadav, who had recently called the Gujarat CM a `paper tiger`.
Yadav`s statement comes amid reports that the BJP has chalked out a plan to win back UP with the help of Modi.
According to a report, the BJP is expected to field the Gujarat Chief Minister from a constituency in Uttar Pradesh, which has 80 Lok Sabha seats.
In an apparent bid to revive its Hindutva strategy in the state, the BJP is expected to field Modi from Lucknow, Allahabad or Varanasi. However, there is strong possibility that Modi would contest the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections from Varanasi, which is considered the holiest of cities for Hindus.
BJP leaders say that Yadav is rattled at the prospects of the "Modi juggernaut" rolling into Uttar Pradesh as it would imperil Yadav`s Muslim vote bank, which would then be divided between the SP and the Congress. With a history of tactical voting by Muslims in the state, even SP leaders are not ruling this out.
Yadav`s SP has 22 MPs and the party is working to increase the number. Yadav has repeatedly expressed his ambition to become prime minister.
(With IANS inputs)