Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday asserted that the BJP would be politically finished in the days to come, "just like the Congress", for allegedly misusing central agencies against opposition parties.
Yadav also pressed for the caste census which, he said, would be a major issue in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
"Earlier, the Congress used to misuse the central agencies, and now the BJP is doing the same. Congress is now finished. The BJP, too, will meet a similar fate. They are only sending agencies after those parties who are fighting the BJP," he told a press conference here.
Asked whether the misuse of the central agencies will increase as the 2024 Lok Sabha election approaches, Yadav said, "It might be the case but it won't help the saffron camp as preparations for the Lok Sabha polls would start in the next few months,".
Speaking about the political resolution adopted in the two-day national executive held here from Saturday, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said the party would leave no stone unturned to ensure that the BJP is defeated in UP and the country in the election next year.
"Uttar Pradesh is the only state which can stop the BJP as it has the largest number of seats. We will defeat the BJP in Uttar Pradesh. The entire country is looking up to the Samajwadi Party. The BJP has told many lies, be it prices of diesel, petrol or LPG or price rise," he said, adding that the saffron party is working for big corporate houses.
On Saturday, senior Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Singh Yadav said that the party has set a target of winning at least 50 of the total 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh in the 2024 elections.
Asked what would be the plans of the proposed opposition front ahead of the general elections, Yadav said it won't be disclosed.
"The goal is to defeat the BJP. Presently efforts are on to forge an opposition front. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao are making efforts (on their own)," he said.
When asked whether the Congress would be kept out of such a proposed opposition front, Yadav said, "The Congress is a national party, so it has to decide its role,"
Speaking on the Delhi Police action against Rahul Gandhi, Yadav wondered whether the BJP did it to help the Congress.
"Nobody knows whom the BJP is trying to target. They might take action against someone, but their target might be someone else," he said.
The Delhi Police on Sunday reached the residence of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in connection with a notice issued to him over his "women are still being sexually assaulted" remark made during the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
Yadav claimed that several political parties are keen on having a caste census in the country as it will help to reach out to various castes.
"Right now, the big issue is caste census. You can take along everyone only when you conduct a caste census. Social justice is never possible without a caste census. In 2014, the BJP's slogan was Acche Din. In 2019, its slogan was Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas Sabka Vishwas. So they must conduct it. All political parties from North to South favour the caste census. But the BJP is trying to avoid it," he said.
He claimed that the Congress during the UPA-2 regime had promised to conduct a caste census but later "backtracked" on it.
"Like the Congress, the saffron party is also not keen on conducting it. During the UPA rule, several leaders of various regional parties had met then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and then UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. The then Home Minister P Chidambaram assured them they would look into it. But nothing moved forward," he said.
When asked whether the SP would contest elections outside Uttar Pradesh, Yadav replied in the affirmative.
"Wherever we have an organisation, we would contest the elections," he said.