Akhilesh Yadav's tasteless 'elephant' jibe at Mayawati clashes with Rahul Gandhi's respect for BSP chief

Taking a dig on Bahujan Samaj Party's chief Mayawati's weight, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, in a rather tasteless comment, said that Mayawati was like her party's symbol (elephant) — "both require a lot of space." Addressing the media on Sunday during a SP-Congress joint conference, when a journalist asked the chief minister about alliance with BSP, Akhilesh said, "How could we have given space to her (Mayawati)? She takes so much space, even her party symbol is that of an elephant."

When Akhilesh was reminded that he used to refer to Mayawati as "buaji" (aunt), the SP leader said, "Now I am not saying that any longer. You have not heard it from me now." However, while Akhilesh was dismissive about the BSP chief, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi expressed his appreciation for Mayawati, saying he "personally respected" her even though her government made some mistakes while ruling Uttar Pradesh.

 Akhilesh Yadavs tasteless elephant jibe at Mayawati clashes with Rahul Gandhis respect for BSP chief

UP CM Akhilesh Yadav and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi. PTI

"BSP ran government and had committed mistakes but the respect is intact. There is a lot of difference between BJP and BSP. BJP's ideology is harmful to the country but Mayawati's ideology is not. Do not compare Maywatiji with RSS".

To a question on Congress' earlier foray with BSP in the 1996 assembly polls after which its number of seats decreased, Gandhi said, "History is not static and keeps changing and saying that alliance in 1996 with BSP was wrong and so it will be wrong this (alliance with SP) time too... situation is different now and it is right strategically for the state, the country as well as for Samajwadis."

Rahul and Akhilesh addressed a joint press conference on Sunday followed by a road show across state capital Lucknow. The Samajwadi Party and the Congress have joined hands to fight the forthcoming Assembly polls in UP. While, Samajwadi Paarty would fight 298 seats, rest will be contested by the Congress.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jan 30, 2017 14:49:32 IST