Assembly polls 2022: Akhilesh Yadav’s soft campaign draws flak
Several Samajwadi Party leaders in private picked fault with what they described as their leader Akhilesh Yadav’s “light-hearted” campaign.
A senior SP leader, who didn’t want to be named, said: “The light-hearted campaign of Akhilesh Yadav amid frontal attacks of the senior BJP leaders on the SP and the saffron brigade’s booth-level micromanagement have brought Adityanath’s rule back in Uttar Pradesh.”
He pointed out that Akhilesh campaigned alone in the first three phases and deployed Rajya Sabha MP Jaya Bachchan and his wife, former Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav, in the fourth phase. There was no big leader or face to campaign for the SP.
“It is not that we lost the election. The fact is that we made the BJP victorious. As many as 30 general secretaries of our party ran a hard-hitting campaign. But what did Akhilesh do? He kept talking about the smoke that emanates from Yogi’s official residence and small and big lies of the BJP leader. Is this how we win an election?” asked an SP leader.
Akhilesh had repeated in many of his public meetings that people have seen smoke on the rooftop of the CM’s residence (implying that someone was smoking grass there). “The small leaders of the BJP speak small lies and big leaders of the party speak big lies….The BJP leaders have booked their ticket to return home after the defeat,” Akhilesh had said in almost every rally.
Akhilesh did not target the BJP on any of the core issues with the force expected from the principal challenger. Unchallenged, Modi and Adityanath went full throttle on their pet polarising themes.