In a riposte to Prime Minister Narendra Modi''s "cycle of corruption" barb directed at the previous SP government in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday mocked the BJP''s election symbol ''lotus'' by calling it the "flower of loot".
Mr Yadav, in a tweet in Hindi, said, "Earlier, thousands of crores of rupees were put in the bank accounts of the poor by previous governments, but now the ''flower of lies'' is deceiving people round the clock by becoming the ''flower of loot''."
"Today, the priority of the BJP government at the Centre and in UP is to pickpocket the poor and snatch the basic facilities," the former chief minister added.
His remarks came a day after PM Modi had accused the previous government in UP of neglecting health facilities in the state and only "filling its coffer".
In Siddharthnagar on Monday, PM Modi picked on the previous Samajwadi Party government in the state -- not mentioning Mr Yadav's party by name but mocking its election symbol, a bicycle.
"Corruption in medicines, ambulances, appointments, transfers and postings. In this entire game, some dynasts in UP flourished," he charged.
"The cycle of corruption ran 24 hours but the ordinary families in Purvanchal and UP got crushed," he had said.
A few hours later, Mr Yadav accused the BJP government of launching projects when the election was only months away.
"The BJP is feeding the flower of lies in the quagmire of deceit," he had said while hitting out at the saffron party.
On Tuesday, the SP chief tweeted a picture of a hoarding featuring him with a slogan "main aa raha hun" (I am coming back).
Mr Yadav who launched "Samajik Parivartan Yatra" early this month has been claiming that the party along with its some regional allies would throw the BJP out of power in the 2022 assembly elections.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)