Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday left many puzzling over a photo in which he is seen sharing a meal with, apparently his political adversary Yogi Adityanath, who succeeded him as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh after the Samajwadi Party's defeat in 2017. The two are seen sitting across each other, having poori-subzi on a private plane.
"The day he cleansed the Chief Minister's residence after I left, was the day I decided to treat him pooris," wrote the Samajwadi Party chief in the tweet, a reminder of Yogi Adityanath "purifying" the Chief Minister's residence in Lucknow with Gangajal or holy water from the Ganga river.
A closer look revealed the truth.
जब उन्होंने हमारे जाने के बाद मुख्यमंत्री आवास को गंगा जल से धोया था तब हमने भी तय कर लिया था कि हम उनको पूड़ी खिलाएँगे! pic.twitter.com/9GubzO1hOW— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) May 15, 2019
The saffron-robed, bald man with Akhilesh Yadav is a lookalike of Yogi Adityanath, Suresh Thakur, often seen on the stage in Samajwadi Party rallies. While Akhilesh Yadav attacks the Yogi Adityanath-government, his lookalike waves at Samajwadi Party supporters.
Earlier this month, the Samajwadi party chief had posted a photo with the faux Adityanath, introducing him as "baba". In a tweet in Hindi, Mr Yadav had said: "We cannot bring fake God, but have brought a "baba" ji. Except Gorakhpur, he will tell the truth about the government to everyone in the state."
Mr Thakur has an uncanny resemblance to Yogi Adityanath, who also wears saffron clothes. Before becoming chief minister, Yogi Adityanath represented Gorakhpur in parliament.
Akhilesh Yadav, who was chief minister of UP from 2012 to 2017, has teamed up with his rival Mayawati in the state to try and upstage the BJP, which swept UP in the 2014 national election as well as the assembly polls in 2017.
On Sunday, 13 constituencies of 80-seat Uttar Pradesh will vote in the seventh and final phase of the national elections. Results will be counted on May 23.
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