Alliance of SP & RLD last till counting of votes, says Amit Shah


Union home minister Amit Shah said on Saturday that the alliance of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) for the upcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh will only last till the counting of votes. Addressing a voters' meeting in Muzaffarnagar, in farmer-dominant western UP, Shah said that if the SP forms the government this time, Azam Khan will be a part of the cabinet and RLD president Jayant Chaudhary, whom the home minister referred to as 'bhai' (brother), will be out. “Yesterday, Akhilesh Yadav and Jayant Chaudhary held a press conference and said that they are together. But for how long will this alliance last? If SP forms the government in UP, Jayant Bhai will be removed and Azam Khan will come back. The state's residents should be able to understand from the distribution of tickets what will happen next,” he said. Shah's comments can be seen as both advice and invitation to the RLD president. Chaudhary has denied the possibility of an alliance with the BJP and has accused it of never talking about real issues. He has also been a critic of the Centre's farm laws which triggered a year-long protests across India.

The BJP is trying to win back the support of the Jat community in Uttar Pradesh. On January 26, Amit Shah held a meeting with Jat leaders and said that Jayant Chaudhary had chosen the wrong path. The party has said that its doors are always open for the RLD president.

Meanwhile, Shah also said during his address in Muzaffarnagar that the BJP led-state government, under the leadership of chief minister Yogi Adityanath, eradicated the mafia out of Uttar Pradesh. “Under the rule of Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Uttar Pradesh was taken over by the mafia. Those who did politics based on religion and caste were dominated here,” the Union home minister said.

He warned that if any of the two parties form the government again, Mafia mafia raj will come back in UP. “But if you vote for the BJP, then Uttar Pradesh will emerge as the number state in India,” Shah said during the meeting.

Shah also lauded the achievements of the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre in the areas of national security, healthcare and agriculture among others.

Elections to 403 assembly constituencies will be held in Uttar Pradesh in seven phases starting February 10. The final phae of voting will be held on March 7. The counting of votes and declaration of results will be on March 10.

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