Yogi Adityanath today sharpened his attack on Akhilesh Yadav and his ally Jayant Chaudhary - a Jat leader - in an election speech as he alleged the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister's involvement in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots. The Chief Minister blamed his challenger for the killing of Jats in the riots.
"Yeh jo do ladkon ki jodi aayi hai na, yeh do ladkon ki jodi 2014 me bhi bani thi, 2017 me bhi bani thi (This jodi - that has now come - of these two boys, similar jodi had come in 2017, 2014)," he said.
"In 2017, the state population had told the jodi... they're not worthy," he added, referring to the 2014 national elections and the 2017 UP elections.
Akhilesh Yadav and Mr Chaudhary had unsuccessfully fought the 2017 state elections together.
#WATCH Like this pair of 2 boys (Akhilesh-Jayant) a similar jodi had come up in 2017, 2014.People showed these boys from Lucknow, Delhi they're not worthy. In Muzaffarnagar riots, Lucknow boy (Akhilesh) was getting murders done while Delhi boy(Rahul Gandhi)supported rioters:UP CM pic.twitter.com/pbFNbxgTjy— ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) February 2, 2022
"In 2013, when the Muzaffarnagar riots happened, two Jat men - Sachin and Gaurav - were killed. One of these two men - who is from Lucknow- was in power... he was responsible for the murder. He called the rioters to the state capital and honoured them. Those who were getting the cases filed, he was making sure they're behind the bars. The man from Delhi (Rahul Gandhi) was also defending... he said action should not be taken against them," Yogi Adityanath further said, talking about the partnership between his rivals.
"Now the duo is back again -- only the packaging is new," he added.
Today's attack was similar to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "double yuvraj (two crown princes)" jibe at Rahul Gandhi and Tejashwi Yadav during his campaign in Bihar elections. The Prime Minister and other party leaders had used the dig against the opposition leaders' "double engine government" tag with the BJP ruling at the centre and the states.
Yogi Adityanath's jibes also come days after Akhilesh Yadav accused the BJP of trying to delay his Muzaffarnagar visit where he was campaigning with Mr Chaudhary. His chopper could not take off on time, he alleged.
Mr Chaudhary and the Samajwadi Party chief also snubbed the ruling party amid reports of an "invite" to the Jat leader to consider switching sides ahead of the state polls.
The seven phased UP polls begin February 10 and votes will be counted on March 10.