Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and his wife Dimple Yadav, the party's lawmaker from Kannauj, spoke to NDTV amid the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. The politician couple spoke about their party's policies towards women, who will be Prime Minister if the opposition wins the national elections and the effect of the Samajwadi Party's alliance with Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh.
Here are the highlights of the interview:
Akhilesh Yadav on if Mayawati should become Prime Minister: There should be efforts to see that she gets support. This decision will be taken on May 23.
Akhilesh Yadav on how many seats the SP-BSP alliance will win: I won't say we will win 79 out of 80 seats, but we will win very good seats. I think BJP will be at the back. It might happen that the BJP might win in single-digits.
Akhilesh Yadav: I can't say what will happen after May 23. But the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party will take a decision together.
Akhilesh Yadav: I want the next Prime Minister to come from Uttar Pradesh. It will be my effort to have a Prime Minister from this state, but I don't mind if someone from another part of the country becomes the Prime Minister either.
Dimple Yadav: The change that we see now is that women want to now work at par with men. They want to be equals. This is a very good thing, and this is across all castes and religion. I have seen this during their voting, women have come out and voted in Kannauj, irrespective of their caste and religion. They have understood that they are equals in every aspect of life, and deserve the same respect, and this is the reason why they are voting.
Dimple Yadav: PM Modi gave women LPG connection. That's why BJP got votes. Giving people LPG connection was a good scheme but they aren't able to refill their cylinders, as the cost today is a lot. When it was given initially, the cost of LPG cylinders was very less. This facility has now turned into a source of annoyance for them.
Akhilesh Yadav, on being asked to comment on Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's remark saying opposition should choose candidates who will eat into BJP's votes: The people are with the opposition. Our effort, especially Mayawati and my efforts, should be to avoid talking points which could potentially give rise to confusion. We should speak plainly and honestly, because only the gathbandhan can stop the BJP.
Akhilesh Yadav on Priyanka Gandhi Vadra eating into SP-BSP alliance votes: People understand the conversations taking place in the grass roots level and will vote for the gathbandhan.