New Delhi: There is no wave in favour of the BJP prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi in the state, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav asserted Thursday.
"There is no wave in UP. The people of UP want a secular government," Yadav told reporters who sought to know from him if a groundswell of support was building for the BJP in his state ahead of the 2014 general elections.
The chief minister was speaking at the Agenda Aaj Tak conclave in the national capital. He said his Samajwadi Party (SP) would go it alone in the Lok Sabha elections of 2014.
"SP will fight the elections alone in UP," he said, when questioned about a possible tie-up with the Congress. Akhilesh Yadav also said that even outside his state, his party would fight the Lok Sabha elections alone.
The SP supports the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the centre.
"The people want a Third Front government instead," the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, which returns 80 Lok Sabha members, said.
SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has been talking of a Third Front over the past few months, and has been hobnobbing with the Left parties on this issue.
Refusing to comment on the number of seats that the Congress was likely to win in Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 polls, Akhilesh Yadav said his focus was to win the maximum number of seats for his party.
The SP was "not afraid of anyone", Akhilesh Yadav said, making an oblique reference to Narendra Modi`s high-pitched rallies in Uttar Pradesh. "The battle for 2014 will be fought on the ground, not on television," the chief minister said.
Tackling questions on communal riots in his state which have tarnished the reputation of the SP government, Akhilesh Yadav said: "It is wrong to say that law and order has broken down completely in UP. Whenever SP comes to power, certain communal forces deliberately try to create tensions between communities."
He denied allegations that his government was indulging in appeasement of minorities for political gain.
"We have never done anything against the constitution. We have done what we have promised in our manifesto," Akhilesh Yadav said in response to queries over compensation only to Muslim victims in the Muzaffarnagar riots of September this year.
He also denied that cases of terrorism made against Muslim youth were withdrawn for political consideration, saying they were found to be innocent.
"This is negative publicity. Compensation was given to both communities. We followed the Supreme Court directive and amended our order," said Akhilesh Yadav.
The Uttar Pradesh chief minister denied the notion that he was not in the driving seat and that senior ministers were not following his orders.
"The chief minister takes the final decision. Azam Khan does not turn down my decision, and I don`t turn down his," Akhilesh Yadav said about the number two in his cabinet who holds the portfolios of minority affairs, urban development and parliamentary affairs.
On his father and party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav`s recent criticism of his government, the young chief minister said there was no disconnect between the two.
"He is the national president. In a democracy it is right to express views and offer criticism of the government," he said.
"The opposition will raise questions. But we are doing our work," he said.