Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Rai on Tuesday visited the house of Samajwadi Party leader Ravi Bhushan Yadav, alias Rajan who had died following a heart attack during a cycle rally led by party chief and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow a day before.
This comes amid ongoing differences between the two parties which are constituents of the Opposition INDIA bloc.
Questioning the “insensitivity” of the SP leadership, Rai, who offered prayers along with Yadav’s family members, later said, “It is surprising that a party leader died and Akhilesh Yadav ji continued with the rally. He could have postponed the yatra and thus stood with the party leader’s family. It is a height of insensitivity.”
The state Congress unit is targeting the SP and Akhilesh since the tie-up between the two parties could not be materialised in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections. Rai had blamed the Samajwadi Party for Congress’ defeat in the Bageshwar bypolls in Uttarakhand, since the SP fielded its candidate despite not having a strong presence in the constituency.
Rai had also advised the SP to leave Madhya Pradesh seats for the Congress as the party has a stronger presence there.
Later, Rai also made attempts to visit SP leader Azam Khan in the Sitapur district jail alleging that he was suffering because of deeds of the Samajwadi Party and its leadership.
Earlier in the day, Congress organised an Other Backward Classes (OBC) sammelan in Lucknow, in which party leaders decided to launch a special campaign seeking caste census.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Congress organisational secretary Anil Yadav said the party would first organise the campaign to get 1 crore signatures demanding caste census, which would be referred to the President of India. Then the party will hold local meetings and “nukkar sabhas” (street assemblies) in the Assembly segment and block level to raise the issue, it was decided.
Ravi Bhushan Yadav,a former student leader, was taken to the Medanta Hospital in Lucknow soon after he fell from the cycle he was riding. He was declared dead upon arrival by doctors at the hospital.
The objective of the cycle yatra demanding caste census in the state among other issues, which started from Prayagraj on August 9, is to reach out to people in 403 Assembly constituencies across all 75 districts in the state.