Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav spoke to Rohini Singh and Vasudha Venugopal ahead of the crucial Uttar Pradesh elections in February and March. Edited excerpts:
What is your pitch to the voters of UP?
I feel the people of UP want to vote the SP government back to power. People know that we deliver what we promise. We have fulfilled all the promises we made in the manifesto or we are working in that direction. Now we have a new manifesto and our government has a lot of credibility. Whether it is laptop distribution, Samajwadi pensions, roads, bridges. Kaam bolta hai (Our work speaks) (smiles)
How do you rate your chances?
If we were getting more than 200 seats, now with the Congress alliance we will get more than 300 seats. Metro, expressway, power, ambulance and our manifesto has made us more formidable. Kabhi handle idhar udhar ho sakta hai kabhi par abhi haath bhi aa gaya hai toh handle ab theek chalega cycle ka (laughs). Pedal toh hum maar hi rahe hai tez. (Sometimes the handle of a cycle can waver. The hand steadies it. We are pedaling fast)
What does Congress bring to the table?
Congress is fighting in 105 seats. People can say their vote share is less. We know the votes at the booth level too. We are very strong at the booth level. Maybe they are weaker at the booth level. But I feel whatever the percentage of their vote share has been, if it is combined with the Samajwadi Party’s, then the SP will stand to benefit.