Lucknow: “The country is looking for a new prime minister and the BJP needs to come out with a new face, if it has one,” Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav said on Monday while side-stepping a question on the leadership issue of opposition parties.
"...as far as the leadership issue is concerned, it is actually the people who decide it...you will see, in time to come, how many options we have," he told reporters in Lucknow when asked who would be the leader of opposition parties against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"But one thing is totally clear that the country is waiting for a new prime minister...if the BJP, which is so concerned about us, has a new prime minister they should tell the people," Yadav, who recently shared platform with opposition leaders in Kolkata, said.
To a question, the SP president said the leadership of the SP and the BSP have taken a decision on most of the seats and an announcement in this regard will be made soon. "As far as SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav is concerned, the party will field him from the seat of his choice," he said.
On the controversy over BJP MLA Sadhana Singh's remarks against BSP president Mayawati, Yadav said the language being used by ruling party leaders is the result of their frustration. "Since the BJP did nothing during its tenure, how will its leaders talk about work...now that the elections are coming nearer, there will be a lot of more things as well," he said.
Without naming the prime minister, Yadav said, "The one who is occupying the highest position is also using such language."
On the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, which started on Monday in Varanasi, he said, "Since the past many years, we are waiting for the NRIs to invest in the state...maybe those coming here will have a change of heart after seeing Kumbh and taking a holy dip in the Ganga, and they will invest in a big way."
He, however, said some policies, decisions and confidence was required for making those sitting on the dais in the Pravasi Divas function invest in the state. "Thoko (shoot) policy will not bring confidence...I will ask them to use Lucknow-Agra expressway during their return journey and then they will know as to who works and who is betraying the people," Yadav said.
On reports that the Yogi Adityanath government was preparing to give pension to seers, Yadav said they should get at least Rs 20,000 per month as pension.
He also called for restarting the Samajwadi Pension scheme and the one for Yash Bharti awardees which was given by the previous government.