A despondent UP chief minister Akhilesh Singh Yadav held a press conference around 5pm on March 11. Yadav seemed to have been hit hard by the defeat of his party in UP and he took resort to sarcasm to express his distress. “Perhaps the people of UP didn’t like the expressways,” he said. “Perhaps, they have voted for bullet trains for UP.”
On a more philosophical note, he mused, “In democracy, oftentimes, misinforming the electorate works better than explaining facts to them.” He added that his rallies and meetings had always been very well-attended, so he never got a sense of the mandate.
“I accept the mandate of the people of UP. We did work for the development of the state. People think that the new government will give pensions of a monthly amount higher than Rs 1,000, we had waived farmers’ loans worth Rs 1,600 crore. Now it seems when the BJP cabinet meets for the first time, they will waive the remaining loans as well. What can be happier news should that happen?” the SP chief said.
Significantly, Yadav said that he “will review the results before taking responsibility”. To a question on BSP supremo Mayawati’s allegation that EVMs had been tampered with, he said that it should be taken seriously and a probe should be conducted.
Also significantly, he declared that the SP-Congress alliance has “fared well” and that it would continue. “Our alliance with Congress will continue,” Yadav said.
At 6.30 pm, news channels tweeted that Yadav had submitted his resignation to governor Ram Naik.
—Written with contributions from Sujit Bhar, Meha Mathur, Sucheta Dasgupta,
Prabir Biswas, Punit Mishra, Bhavana Gaur, Kh Manglembi Devi,
Ram Lagan, Anthony Lawrence and Amitava Sen