‘BJP’s reach has expanded in UP, but no NaMo wave’

While Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday conceded that BJP’s reach has expanded ‘to some extent’ in his politically-crucial state but surprisingly stressed that there is nothing like a ‘Modi wave’. Yadav took a dig at BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi for his ‘petty’ statements like giving lions from Gujarat to Uttar Pradesh and said only somebody with a big heart can become the prime minister.

He responded to Modi’s barb that UP saw over 100 riots in the last two years against none in Gujarat in 10 years, alleging that it was the Modi government which starts communal violence in Gujarat while he was working to stop it in UP.

The rallies of Samajwadi Party have been bigger than those of BJP, Yadav claimed at a conclave, adding that BJP supporters make their gathering appear bigger by leaving empty space around them while SP supporters sit together closely.

‘This is true that BJP has increased its numbers among people by some margin. People in some measure are attending their rallies. But to say results will be in their favour is difficult,’ he said in what appeared to be a reluctant admission of the challenge a resurgent BJP is posing to SP in UP, which sends the largest contingent of 80 MPs to Lok Sabha.
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