The bonhomie between the SP and BSP was on display at a joint rally of the SP-BSP-RLD alliance in Kannauj on Thursday when SP chief Akhilesh Yadav's wife and party candidate Dimple Yadav touched BSP chief Mayawati's feet on stage.
Calling Dimple her "family's bahu", Mayawati asked the people of Kannauj to ensure victory for her by a huge margin. RLD chief Ajit Singh, BSP national general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra and Mayawati's nephew Akash Yadav were among those on the stage.
Speaking at the rally, Dimple said, "The step Mayawati has taken by forming the alliance is praiseworthy. During the press conference in January, Akhilesh ji had said that 'from today, Mayawati ji's respect is my respect and her disrespect is my disrespect'. I would like to congratulate Akhileshji for giving Mayawatiji the respect she deserves from the beginning… I have been very impressed by Mayawatiji's life which has been full of struggle."
Before the event began, a bull entered the rally ground where the leaders' helicopters were to land. A youth was reportedly injured when he tried to chase the bull away from the venue. Akhilesh later tweeted a picture of the youth trying to stop the bull and wrote, "We built an expressway in 21 months, but people have been troubled by 5 crore stray cattle in the past 2 years. If the government can't stop bulls from entering political events, then you can understand the plight of the poor farmers."
Slamming the Prime Minister and the BJP, Akhilesh asked the people if they want a "pracharmantri" or pradhanmantri".
Slamming the Congress, Mayawati said that during their rule, backward classes and Dalits were never given due reservation. "When they come asking for votes, you should ask them why they did not give reservation to the marginalised," the BSP chief said.
Alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not even fulfilled one-fourth of the promises his party made before the 2014 polls, she said, "Just like the Congress, due to the BJP's communal, casteist mindset, development hasn't reached Apasis, Dalits, backward classes, Muslims and other religious minorities. These people have still not been given jobs that they should have got under reservation."
"Every other day, there are terror attacks in the country and several soldiers have been martyred under the BJP rule. The sad part is that these people are using this in some way or the other for political gains," she said.