Key opposition leader Akhilesh Yadav today ripped into BJP chief Amit Shah's statement that the party would rule the country for the next 50 years. "He said too much," 45-year-old Akhilesh Yadav said at NDTV Yuva, a special youth conclave featuring celebrities, leaders and influencers.
"People who are saying they will rule for 50 years, will hardly be around that long," Akhilesh Yadav said, adding "If I keep cycling, watch after my health, I may live that long".
"Forget 50 years, people will give their verdict in 50 weeks," he went on to add.
At the national executive meet of the BJP last week, Amit Shah had expressed confidence that the party will rule the country for the next 50 years if they came to power in the elections next year.
A key stop towards that goal will be the Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in the country which sends the maximum number of lawmakers to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament. The BJP had already laid the groundwork, sweeping out the government of Akhilesh Yadav in last year's assembly elections.
This year, however, the party suffered reverses in a string of by-elections held in the state. Mr Yadav, who forged an alliance with the state's Dalit powerhouse and longtime Mayawati, today said the results were a reflection of the people's anger. The people have been "greatly disappointed" in the BJP government, he said.
His party, he said, is committed to the grand alliance and if need be, he is also prepared to take a "backseat" in it. "We have to defeat the prevailing forces that are dividing us," he said.