SP MP Akhilesh Singh Yadav has said that he would accept any challenge thrown at him by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
“I have not challenged anybody but if I am challenged, I will accept it,” he said.
He was responding to a query if he was daring Rahul Gandhi politically, who is being credited for Raj Babbar’s victory in the Lok Sabha by-elections in Firozabad.
Interacting with media along with his wife Dimple who was defeated by Babbar, Yadav, taking a dig at the Congress leader, said that he congratulated Gandhi for Congress’ victory in Firozabad but he should also accept the blame for his party’s defeat in the Assembly by-polls in the state.
It should be noted that out of 11 Assembly seat gone for by-elections in the state, Congress won only one.
Yadav held the Congress responsible for backwardness of Uttar Pradesh and said, “Spending a night at a Dalit’s house will not do away with poverty. These people should also tell them who is responsible for their condition.”
He also said that the Congress, which had been campaigning for young leadership, actually fielded “an old person” in Firozabad… SP’s candidate (his wife Dimple Yadav) was the youngest in the fray.
Besides, he charged that the Congress and the BJP has a tacit understanding which led to SP’s defeat in the bye-elections.
“BJP’s votes were diverted to Congress,” he said.
The SP leader said that the party will review the reasons behind its defeat.
“We will reach to the people, who did not vote for the SP candidate, and will find reasons for the anger towards the party,” Yadav said.
On the issue of the attack on SP MLA Abu Asim Azmi in Maharashtra Assembly, he accused Congress of keeping mum. “Congress has always maintained silence on such issues. It did the same when North Indians were being attacked in Mumbai.”
He also held the Congress and BSP Government responsible for the backwardness, price rise and unemployment in Uttar Pradesh.