Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday mocked the Uttar Pradesh government over its talk of turning the state into a USD 1 trillion economy, saying it should take a look at a Niti Aayog report to see where UP actually stands.
Speaking in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on the recently presented state Budget, he claimed a 2021 report placed UP at number 4 from the bottom on a list of 28 states with "low poverty", and second-last on the “good health” list.
Yadav called the BJP government at the Centre "Chhapamar" -- one which conducts raids.
"The BJP has at least learned something from the Congress, which also used to conduct raids," he said, in an apparent reference to allegations that the government misuses its investigative agencies to target the opposition.
Yadav, who is Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, reiterated his party’s demand for a caste census to redefine the reservation policy. He said inclusive development is not possible without a caste census.
"We will fight for the caste census and ask BJP allies to support us," he said in his over one-and-a-half- hour address.
He opposed the Centre’s new Agnipath recruitment scheme, which allows most soldiers to serve only a short term in the armed forces.
The SP leader said ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' -- the BJP government’s slogan of inclusive development -- or a 'Ram Rajya" is not possible without ‘samajwad’ (socialism).
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was present in the House at the time and is expected to respond Wednesday, winding up the debate on the UP Budget.
Yadav said every budget presented by the Adityanath government claims to be “historic” and the “biggest”, but still there is no improvement in the state on several parameters.
The Budget offered neither 'rozgar' (employment) nor 'vichar' (thought), he said. He also claimed that the government planned to privatise the health department.
Yadav claimed that a growth rate of 34 percent is needed for achieving the target of USD 1 trillion, and joked that the CM’s economic advisor is not telling him the truth.
Without naming industrialist Gautam Adani, he took a dig at recent beating the group took on the stock market after a Hindenburg Research report cited alleged malpractices.
“Just one report has taken the world's number 2 industrialist to the place where he is now,” he said, and asked if the BJP has now “left its friend”.
He also alluded to the absence of “an industrialist friend of the BJP" at the recent investors summit organised by the state government.
Mocking the event’s organisation, he claimed that potential investors were given lunch coupons. “Whoever wore a tie had lunch,” he said.
-With PTI Input