- BJP has asked Akhilesh to express remorse & apologise for 'Pakistan political enemy' remark
- BJP's attack on Akhilesh Yadav came after the latter described Pakistan as 'our political enemy'
- Akhilesh had charged that the BJP only targets 'Pakistan because of their vote politics'
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday launched a scathing attack on Samajwadi Party national president Akhilesh Yadav over his controversial remark wherein he described Pakistan as a 'political enemy'. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said that Akhilesh Yadav should express remorse and apologise for the comment.
Patra said that while the country is celebrating the foundation day (January 24) of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav in an interview said that Pakistan is not the real enemy of India.
"His comment that Pakistan is not a real enemy and BJP is making Pakistan as an enemy... I will clearly say "(Muhammad Ali) Jinnah se jo kare pyaar, wo Pakistan se kaise kare inkaar," he told reporters in Lucknow.
Akhilesh Yadav in an interview had said that "our real enemy is China and Pakistan is our political enemy". He charged that the "BJP only targets Pakistan because of their vote politics".
Patra also slammed the Samajwadi Party for seeking to ban the opinion polls. He said, "On March 10, the Opposition parties will blame EVMs for the defeat."
The SP has asked the Election Commission to stop the opinion polls from being aired on some news channels with immediate effect. In a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner, the party claimed that airing of the polls is a violation of the model code of conduct and they can misguide the voters and influence the election.
Several opinion polls have predicted a clear majority for the ruling BJP under Yogi Adityanath's leadership in Uttar Pradesh for a second consecutive term. While the BJP is expected to cross the halfway mark of 202 easily, the Samajwadi Party-led alliance will settle below 150 in the 403-member Legislative Assembly.
Patra then lashed out at the Samajwadi Party for fielding candidates having criminal cases pending against them in the polls. "Yakub Menon was hanged, otherwise Akhilesh Yadav would have made him his party's candidate by declaring him a patriot, just like the rioter Nahid Hasan," he said.
Nahid Hasan, the SP's candidate from Kairana, has been arrested by police under the Gangsters Act. He was arrested in connection with a case registered against him under Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act in Kairana Kotwali in February last year. He is a sitting SP MLA from Kairana and had won the 2017 polls, defeating BJP's Mriganka Singh. In October 2014 bypoll, he was elected from the seat after the sitting MLA Hukum Singh got elected to the Lok Sabha.
The Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls are scheduled to be held in seven phases from February 10 to March 7 and the counting of votes will be taken up on March 10.