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Partymen assured me not to come for campaign in by-poll: Akhilesh

Partymen assured me not to come for campaign in by-poll: Akhilesh

Lucknow: Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday said he did not campaign in Azamgarh and Rampur seats in the by-elections to the UP Lok Sabha constituencies as partymen had assured him that his presence was not required there.

He said that he, however, did not know that officers on behalf of the state government would delete SP supporters' names from the voters' list, distribute money and send "trucks of liquor".

Yadav presented his defence for the first time after his party's stunning loss in the by-election in Azamgarh and Rampur.

The SP chief's absence from campaign has been cited as the main reason behind party's defeat in its traditional strongholds.

Both the Lok Sabha seats were vacated by Yadav and senior party leader Azam Khan following their election to the state assembly.

"My party men had said that there is no need for me to come and they will win. I had faith in my organisation and people, but I did not know that officers would not allow people to go to vote, lure voters, distribute money, and send trucks of liquor," Yadav said.

"SP votes were identified and their names were cut from the voters list," he told reporters on the occasion of launch of party's membership drive here.

Pointing to the reports of Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak seeking details over the transfers done in the health department, the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the state assembly had said, "some forces are running the (BJP) government in the state from behind".

"Deputy CM had gone out of Lucknow and when he returned he came to know that transfers were done in his department without his knowledge," he said.

"He is the same Deputy CM, who is conducting raids and has found shortcomings. But, has he initiated action against anyone?. It shows that 'Koi sarkar peeche se chala raha hai' (someone is running the government from behind)," Yadav added.

Earlier, with an eye on the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the SP supremo launched the party's membership drive.

The membership drive, according to party leaders, is an attempt to strengthen the party base ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

In the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the SP had won 111 seats, while the BJP and its allies won 273 seats and retained power.

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