Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday said people of the country want change of power, but evaded a direct reply on whether his party would join an opposition alliance to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
He was speaking to reporters here a day after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav met Congress chief Mallikarjaun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi, who described the initiative as "historic". The meeting assumed significance as it is being viewed as the first major step in forging opposition unity and taking it forward ahead of the next Lok Sabha polls despite differences among some regional outfits.
Akhilesh Yadav arrived in Indore on Thursday as part of his two-day visit to Madhya Pradesh.
Responding to reporters' query whether his party would join the opposition alliance, Yadav avoided giving a direct answer and said, "This is a big question. What name are you giving to it (the grand alliance)? But I know one thing that people of Uttar Pradesh will unseat the BJP." He said the citizens of the country want a change of power.
Last month, after his party's national executive meeting, the SP chief had said that his party would play a key role in the formation of an opposition alliance in Uttar Pradesh.
On March 17, Yadav had met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata. Both Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Yadav-led SP had said the two parties would stay away from both the Congress and the BJP and indicated possible talks with other regional players ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Yadav had lent his party's support to the TMC during the 2021 West Bengal assembly poll, which was reciprocated by Banerjee when she campaigned for the former in Uttar Pradesh during the 2022 election in that state.
Yadav is scheduled to visit the birthplace of Dr B R Ambedkar in Mhow tehsil, about 25 km from Indore district, on Friday, which happens to be the birth anniversary of the architect of the Constitution.