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Regional parties to get more LS seats than Cong, BJP: Akhilesh

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: April 22, 2019  | 20:33 IST

(Eds: Updates with additional quotes) Lucknow, Apr 22 (PTI) Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Monday said that regional parties will get more seats than the Congress and the BJP in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls. "I think regional parties will get more seats than the Congress and the BJP. The next PM will be from the regional parties," he said at a press conference here. When asked whether he was in the race for the top post, Yadav said, "I am not in the race for prime ministership, but will be happy if next PM is from UP. I will support those who want to become PM." On being asked if the SP-BSP alliance will support Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, whose name is doing rounds as a possible Congress candidate against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Yadav ruled out any support to the Congress saying, "Our alliance is with the BSP and the RLD. We will declare candidate from the Varanasi seat soon." The SP is contesting the Lok Sabha polls in an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), keeping the Congress out of the "gathbandhan". When asked about this tough stand against the Congress, he said, "A person who had filed a PIL against me and my father Mulayam Singh Yadav is seen with Congress leaders. You (media) can see the photograph. Congress should reply on this." As far as the CBI is concerned, he said, "The Congress and the BJP have an alliance (for misusing the CBI against regional parties)." Asked about recent statements of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath against him, he said, "The pride of everyone cannot continue for long. This time people of the state will shatter his pride and send him to 'Math' (Gorakhnath Math)." He said the BJP leaders have "lost their mental balance" after the alliance and it reflected in their language. Asked about PM's scheduled visit to Kannauj later this week, Yadav said, "The PM and CM should tell the people of Kannauj what their governments have done for them." On Bhopal BJP candidate Pragya Singh Thakur over her remarks against slain Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare, he said, "Such people are fielded to divert the attention of the people. But people this time are alert." Asked to comment on Congress president Rahul Gandhi expressing "regret" over his remarks on Rafale verdict in the Supreme Court, Yadav said, "He should not have said sorry." Gandhi expressed "regret" in the Supreme Court on Monday over his remarks in connection with the Rafale judgment, which the apex court had said was "incorrectly attributed" to it, saying it was made in the "heat of political campaigning". At the press conference, Shalini Yadav, a Congress leader from Varanasi and S P Khushwaha of the Lok Dal joined the Samajwadi Party. PTI ABN SMI KJ KJ

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