A veteran Congress leader Salim Sherwani and several other former BSP leaders on Tuesday formally joined Samajwadi Party in the presence of its chief Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow. This move can be seen as a major boost to the Samajwadi Party ahead of crucial Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, slated to be held in 2022.
Sherwani has served as five times MP from Badaun and believed to be a closely associated with late Rajiv Gandhi.
Others who joined the Samajwadi Party include former BSP MP from Ambedkar Nagar Tribhuvan Dutt, former BSP MLA from Shahabad (Hardoi) Asif alias Babbu Khan, Aslam alias Bablu Khan, wife of sitting BSP MLA Aslam Chaudhary from Hapur's Dhaulana, Captain Inderpal Singh Pal from Kanpur Dehat and Chief of Maharajganj District Panchayat Prabhu Dayal Chauhan.
"Time will tell how hard the Samajwadi Party is working. The assembly elections which are to be held in Uttar Pradesh in 2022 will not only bring the Samajwadi Party back to power but will also decide the direction of the country," said Akhilesh Yadav during the induction ceremony.
Meanwhile, he also attacked Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government for "failing to handle the Covid-19 pandemic" in the state. "Today, the entire world is fighting against coronavirus. But the Uttar Pradesh government's decision is less the test, the lesser the disease. If more tests are done then you will know how many people are infected. Several people lost their lives, including ministers, officers and journalists (due to Covid-19). Now the government is saying that we will have to live with this disease. But what is the government's preparation? The condition of hospitals is not good, people are not getting treatment. The government is unable to provide arrangements in hospitals...", he said.
The SP chief also raised questions on the investment summit. He asked, "We want to know from the government where the investment of Rs 4 lakh crore has gone. This government is lying. The government should tell about the MoUs that were signed and where the lands are where Bhoomi Pujan was performed."