Pradip Bhandari and Akriti Bhatia from Jan Ki baat reported live from Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav’s first joint press conference in Lucknow on 29th January, 2017. Gearing up for the poll campaign for the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance in Uttar Pradesh, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi termed it a ‘historic alliance’ and one that will pave the way for continued growth and prosperity in Uttar Pradesh.
At their first joint press briefing, both leaders hugged and exchanged flower bouquets before settling down to answer questions from journalists. This SP-Congress partnership is an answer to the politics of hate and division. Gandhi said that they want to end the politics of anger perpetuated by the RSS-BJP. “This is not an opportunistic alliance. We will show PM Modi and BJP-RSS that people of UP are with us.” Using a metaphorical reference, Gandhi said the alliance will be as clear as the ‘Ganga-Yamuna’ sangam at Allahabad.
On questions about the role of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in the election, Gandhi said, “Priyanka is an asset to the Congress. She has been of tremendous help to me. She will decide whether she wants to campaign or not.” On whether wife Dimple Yadav will play an important role in the election, Akhilesh said, “She is a Lok Sabha MP. She will decide.” The leaders declined to say whether Sonia Gandhi and Mulayam Singh Yadav will campaign for the election adding that they would not reveal electoral strategies.
Akhilesh Yadav said that there is brotherhood in the DNA of Uttar Pradesh. The leaders proudly proclaimed ‘Hum iss Pradesh ko batne nahi denge.” They wouldn’t let Uttar Pradesh divide. Rahul Gandhi backed Yadav by saying that Akhilesh Yadav’s intentions are correct and he is a very efficient leader. Thus, a proud union of Samajwadi Party and Congress was witnessed where the leaders effectively answered the questions put forth by the journalists which symbolised a strong coalition of the parties.