UNEQUAL: Samajwadi party President Akhilesh Yadav has demanded a level playing field for the forthcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh. He has protested to the Election Commission which is insisting on virtual campaigns only.

By HT Correspondent

President of the Samajwadi party Akhilesh Yadav, who is the main rival to the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, has protested against the ban on physical campaigning, pointing out that this will benefit the BJP. The worst affected will be the Samajwadi party whose vote bank is made up of Dalits and poor Muslims who do not have access to smartphones and television sets

Akhilesh Yadav’s request to the election commission came in response to a question on the SP’s preparedness to run a digital campaign if the Election Commission backs suggestions that political parties should hold a virtual campaign in view of Covid-19 pandemic.
Samajwadi Party (SP) national president Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday said that if the election commission leans in favour of a virtual campaign for political parties in the UP Assembly elections 2022, then the commission should also make it a level-playing field for all the political parties.
At a Press conference in Lucknow hours before the Election Commission declares the poll schedule in New Delhi, Akhilesh Yadav said: “The Election Commission should give some funds to political parties so that they (the political parties) create a step-up, infrastructure because we cannot compete with the BJP infrastructure. So we appeal that EC should get the political parties some funds from the government so that in the democratic set up all political parties who do not have strong set up like BJP’s should be able to compete”.
Akhilesh Yadav’s request to the election commission came in response to a question on the SP’s preparedness to run a digital campaign if the poll panel backs the suggestion that political parties should hold a virtual campaign.

Will repeat free laptop scheme
Akhilesh Yadav also announced that the Samajwadi Party will repeat its free laptop scheme of the 2012 manifesto if the SP returns to power in 2022.
“It will be the second promise after the first promise of free 300 units power to all domestic consumers and free power to farmers for irrigation. As the SP government did in its previous government… if the party forms the government in 2022, then it will again give laptops to youth and students for higher studies. Earlier we had given lakhs of laptops which led many of the beneficiaries to get self-employed”.
Akhilesh Yadav has already promised free 300 units free power to domestic consumers and free power to farmers for irrigation, a caste census in the state, Rs25 lakh to the families of those farmers who died in the farmers’ agitation, Rs5 lakh to those cyclists who die in a road accident, Rs5 lakh to those who die in the bull attack.

Will file FIR
Akhilesh Yadav also said his party’s legal cell will file an FIR against a BJP IT cell member who sits in Delhi who posted his photograph and claimed that the perfumer recently raided by tax authorities in Kanpur was standing with him. “BJP is doing false propaganda against the SP. We will file FIR now, and act against the person when we form the government. Because if anyone says anything against me, no action is taken but if anyone says anything against BJP leader, then immediate action is taken”
About the Uttar Pradesh government’s ad campaign, Akhilesh Yadav reiterated: “A government does campaign of its works, but here the government is doing party’s campaign on government expense. When the time comes, we will act against the government people and ad agencies involved in all this”.
Akhilesh also said that SP and RLD alliance was firm and seat-sharing with alliance partners has been decided and will be announced after the election notification.

Courtesy: The Hindustan Times

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