Lucknow: Downplaying the recent revolt by his estranged uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday said "political missiles" of this sort get fired when elections are near.
"A lot of things, political missiles will be fired at election time. There is no annoyance and we respect uncle," Akhilesh Yadav said at a media house event here.
Asked about Shivpal Yadav's announcement that his just-launched Samajwadi Secular Morcha will contest all 80 parliamentary seats in 2019, the SP leader said, "Good."
He claimed the development showed there was no nepotism in the Samajwadi Party.
Shivpal Yadav had formed the new front after complaining that he had been sidelined by nephew Akhilesh Yadav, who became the Samajwadi Party's national president last year.
Akhilesh Yadav said the SP has a big responsibility in the 2019 Lok Sabha election and predicted a "historic" result if people help.
But the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister refused to give a direct reply on efforts to form a 'mahagathbandhan', or a grand alliance of opposition parties to take on the BJP.
"We will not tell our strategy," he said, claiming that the result will be like those in the bypolls in recent months in Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana, which were wrested from the BJP.
"People are waiting for a new prime minister," he said at 'Hindustan Shikhar Samagam'.
When asked if he saw himself in that role, Yadav said he had no big dreams.
Asked how he could enter a coalition with Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati whom he defeated to form a government, Yadav said 10 years had passed since then.
He said the politics and the issues have changed since then, and so have alliance partners.
On Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's claim that no riot has taken place since the Bharatiya Janata Party government took charge in Uttar Pradesh, he said all "rioters" are in power now....