Akhilesh Yadav was among the first to be pinged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi this morning in a series of tweets calling for more voter participation in the April-May national election. In response, the Samajwadi Party leader, one of PM Modi's sharpest critics, added his own twist to the appeal.
In tweets tagging multiple personalities from politics, media, films and sports, PM Modi sent out a message for help to encourage more people to vote in next month's polls.
In his first tweet, he appealed to Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Sharad Pawar, Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav and MK Stalin to "encourage increased voter participation in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. A high turnout augurs well for our democratic fabric."
All leaders in this group are proactive in opposition attempts for a "mahagathbandhan" or a grand alliance to take on the ruling BJP. Akhilesh Yadav was the first in this group to reply.
"I am delighted that PM is appealing to the #MahaGathbandhan for #MahaParivartan (mega change). I also appeal to all Indian citizens to vote in large numbers and choose a new Prime Minister," jeered the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
The national election will be held in seven rounds between April 11 and May 19 and the results will be declared on May 23.
One of the most watched states will be Uttar Pradesh, which has the most number of parliamentary seats. Akhilesh Yadav has tied up with rival Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to take on the BJP, which ousted him from power in the state in 2017.