"I don't know much about RSS but I read about the reasons why Sardar Patel banned the organization. After reading those, I don't think I should go there," said former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today at India Today Mind Rocks event held in Delhi. He was responding to a question on an invite to a RSS event. India Today Mind Rocks is India’s biggest youth festival, where the country's youth get to interact with icons from diverse fields such as politics, business, science, sports and cinema. The speakers at this year's event included RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav, Congress leader Priyanka Chaturvedi, BJP leader Sambit Patra, AAP leader Raghav Chadda, actors Anushka Sharma, Varun Dhawan, Tiger Shroff, Shahid Kapoor, Taapsee Pannu and Radhika Apte, business leaders Kris Gopalakrishnan and Ananth Narayanan, singers Raftaar and Parmish Verma and Asiad medalist Dutee Chand.The former chief minister appealed to the young voters to vote for "cyclewala'. Cycle is the election symbol of Yadav's party SP. Taking a dig at Narendra Modi government at the Centre for rising fuel prices, Akhilesh said: "Cycle doesn't need diesel or petrol. Cycling will make you healthier. It also teaches you how to balance. SP can take along BSP and Congress."
He also slammed the prime minister for appropriating the developmental work done by SP government in the past. "The metro that Modi took along with South Korean president was built by SP government. The prime minister inaugurated just 9 km of expressway amid so much fanfare, while the SP government built expressway where planes can land," said Akhilesh. He also challenged the BJP government at the Centre and in states to show one road which is better than the ones built by SP government.He ridiculed the Yogi Adityanath government of Uttar Pradesh saying that the chief minister was not doing any work but instead telling people that sugarcane causes diabetes.The SP president also criticised the Modi government for "cheating" the people by making false promises on demonetisation."The government said demonetisation will end corruption and stop terror funding. Did it happen?" On being told that law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh has improved under BJP rule, the former CM said that crime rates are the highest in UP and Delhi despite the fact that BJP looks after the law and order of both states.
Taking an apparent dig at Modi’s statement that selling pakoda is also a form of employment, Akhilesh said that people would soon decide if they want pakodawala government or expressway government.He also lamented that his party was outsmarted by BJP in marketing their success and work. In an obvious reference to the prime minister keeping long hours at work for the progress of the country, Akhilesh said: "Even laborers do hard work, that doesn't mean they are progressing."On being probed about his friendship with Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh said: "I'm not one to break friendship."On being asked about the family dispute in his party, the former CM said, "Every family has dispute. If someone doesn't have a family, how will there be a dispute." The reference was to Modi whose family doesn't stay with him and has remained away from politics.He also dismissed the allegations that SP plays caste politics saying it's BJP which indulge in caste politics in the name of social engineering. The SP president appealed to the young voters to vote for development and not for divisive forces.