“Ye laal topi waalon ko satta chahiye… lal batti chahiye… ghotalon ke liye… apni tijori bharne ke liye … awaidh kabjon ke liye aur mafiayon ko khuli chhut dene ke liye (These people with red caps want power for scams, filling their coffers, allowing illegal occupation of land and giving the mafia a free hand),” he said after inaugurating flagship projects in Gorakhpur, including a fertiliser factory, an AIIMS and a regional medical centre.
Modi accused SP of forgetting the principles of socialist ideologues like Ram Manohar Lohia and Jayaprakash Narayan and being blind to the problems of the poor and farmers. “They also want to form the government to shower kindness to terrorists and get them freed from jail,” he said in a reference to previous the SP government’s decision to withdraw cases against the 2006 Varanasi and Ayodhya serial blasts accused.
The PM’s barbs at SP come at a time when the Akhilesh Yadav-led party is positioning itself squarely against BJP to emerge as its most potent rival. His remark coincided with Akhilesh holding a joint rally with ally and RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary in Meerut as part of a show of strength in communally sensitive west UP. Hitting back at the PM, Akhilesh asserted that people wearing red caps are “red alerts” also for BJP as they will “oust it from power” in the next UP assembly polls.