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Lucknow: Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Friday took a swipe at Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, saying by his "80 versus 20" assertion, he meant only 20 per cent of the population will back the BJP in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.

The remaining 80 per cent will support the Samajwadi Party (SP), Yadav asserted and claimed that the BJP might also lose that 20 per cent as Swami Prasad Maurya and others have joined his party.

Maurya, who is a senior leader from the other backward class (OBC) community, recently quit the BJP and the Uttar Pradesh cabinet. Besides him, minister Dharam Singh Saini, five BJP MLAs and a legislator of the Apna Dal (Sonelal), a BJP ally, have taken up the SP's membership, boosting its prospects of OBC support in the polls.

"Baba Mukhyamantri (the chief minister) should engage a math teacher," Yadav said as he mocked Adityanath for his remark that it will be a "80 per cent versus 20 per cent" elections in the state and the BJP will win. The population of Muslims in Uttar Pradesh is around 20 per cent.

Yadav also rejected the BJP's claim of winning three-fourth seats in the 403-member assembly and said "they meant, they will win three to four seats".

"This is not a semi-final election. It is the final election. If the child is weak (in studies), then the entire house gets involved in teaching him and making him learn, and sometimes also assists him in 'nakal' (cheating) during the examination," the SP chief said.

The results of the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, which will be declared on March 10 along with those of Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur, is being seen as a crucial indicator for the 2024 general elections.

"Baba CM has failed. No matter how many people come from Delhi, he is not going to pass the exams. The BJP have hit their own wicket in such a way that they are not able to understand the strategy of our leaders. Had they known, they would have started doing damage control," Yadav said.

"The BJP's wickets are falling one after the other. Our CM does not know how to play cricket. Even if he knew, he has dropped the catch," he said.

Taking a jibe at the chief minister, Yadav said, "Today is Makar Sankranti, and our CM has gone there in advance (to Gorakhpur), though his air ticket was scheduled for March 11. Sending him back is necessary, because he has destroyed Uttar Pradesh."

Referring to the virtual campaigning for the polls, Yadav said, "We know about digital things, but the physical strength, which our party workers have, no one can compete against them."

"If they (BJP) go digital and virtual, the SP will go digital, virtual and physical. We will go from house to house, and there will be physical competition with the BJP at the spot," he said.

The crossing over of OBC leaders from the BJP to the SP could expand Yadav's support among the backwards which form over 50 per cent of the state's population.

Dara Singh Chauhan, who also quit the cabinet, was not present in the Friday joining function of the other legislators.

Sources close to the former minister said that he would be taking membership of the SP on January 16 "as per prior decision".

Speaking at the joining in function, Maurya said that this 'Makar Sankranti' will mark the end of the BJP. Senior BJP leaders were in deep sleep, and they have lost their sleep after the resignations, he claimed.

"They had no time to speak to ministers, MPs and MLAs, and had cheated the SCs, STs, minorities and the backward class people of this country, and had gained power," he said.

"Who doesn't know that the BJP had floated the names of Keshav Prasad Maurya and Swami Prasad Maurya, and formed government on the basis of votes cast by the backward class? There was a discussion that either Keshav Prasad Maurya or Swami Prasad Maurya will be the chief minister," he claimed.

First, there was a name from Ghazipur (apparently referring to Manoj Sinha) and then from Gorakhpur (Adityanath) for the post of chief minister. The people of the backward castes were cheated, Maurya said.

Dalits and backward form the government, but the wins are taken by the 5-6 per cent people , he said.

Referring to the "80 versus 20" assertion, the former minister said, "Now, it will be 85 versus 15. Eighty-five will be ours, and in the 15 there will be divisions (85 to hamara hai, 15 mein bhi batwaaraa hai). In the 15 per cent, there are people who are believers of socialism and are 'Ambedkarvaadis'. There has been a confluence of 'Lohiavaadis' and 'Ambedkar vadis'."

Maurya boasted that after his departure from BSP, Mayawati could never return to power. Now BJP will be reduced to its 2012 position and Akhilesh will become CM, he said.



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