‘Do I look like a goonda or mafia?’

Dimple Yadav, the daughter-in-law of former Chief Minister late Mulayam Singh Yadav, speaks on a range of topics concerning the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, in conversation with Vivek Tripathi

Sitting MP and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav is seeking re-election from Samajwadi Party (SP) stronghold Mainpuri Lok Sabha constituency, and is engaged in intensive campaigning as the seat is slated to go to polls in the third phase on May 7.

In an interview with IANS, Dimple Yadav, the daughter-in-law of former Chief Minister late Mulayam Singh Yadav, spoke on a range of topics concerning the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

On the BJP’s allegations of SP giving tickets to goondas and the mafia, she dismissed them by saying, “Do I look like a goon or mafia to you?”

Dimple Yadav said that people have faith in SP and hence the party’s victory is certain this time. Excerpts from the interview:

The BJP has accused you (SP) of being a supporter of nepotism, goonda-mafia. What is your take on it?

Dimple Yadav: Do I look like a goonda or the mafia to you? The BJP only tries to mislead. This time the BJP has welcomed the corrupt and goons in the entire country. They are also being fielded in the Lok Sabha elections. These people (BJP leaders) will not be able to list the achievements of their tenure. This double-engine government has failed in the country and in the state.

The BJP is claiming that it will win all 80 seats in UP. How do you see this?

Dimple Yadav: The BJP’s claims of assured victory on all 80 seats in UP are false. These people have been telling lies even from forums. It is on this basis that they have been getting people’s votes, but this time women, farmers and soldiers are ready to dethrone them

The Yogi Government is repeatedly claiming that the law and order situation is good. What do you say?

Dimple Yadav: When there is no employment and farmers do not get proper income, it will definitely affect the law and order situation in UP. It is very important to develop this state and provide employment to the people, which would then bring prosperity and stability.

The PM is repeatedly talking about ‘mangalsutras’ being snatched. How do you view this allegation? How much truth is there in it?

Dimple Yadav: No such untoward incident has happened in 75 years. This accusation shows the warped thinking. That’s why they are saying such things.

It does not look like the polarisation card will work in this election. What is your view on it?

Dimple Yadav: The issue of polarisation does impact voting. The people get disturbed by it. Nothing has been done for employment generation, development and to curb inflation. So it is easier for them to indulge in diversionary tactics. The people are also troubled by this.

You won the bypoll. How are you viewing this Lok Sabha election? Is there a challenge?

Dimple Yadav: There is no challenge. This time, we will win with more votes than last time.

You come from a big political party of UP. What do you think about women’s participation?

Dimple Yadav: When the Nari Shakti Vandan Bill was introduced, our party supported it in Parliament. Now our demand is to ensure the participation of women from the backward, extremely backward and minority communities.

The SP has given tickets to many young women this time. What is the strategy behind this?

Dimple Yadav: It is a good thing and the new generation should enter politics. They are making people aware of the latest things and events. Young women are full of energy, enthusiasm and can devote their full time.

How are you taking forward the legacy of Mainpuri?

Dimple Yadav: SP did a lot of work in this area. Whenever the SP Government comes to power, projects to develop the surrounding areas and generate employment are initiated. The efforts will continue for the people of this area.

Two phases of the elections have passed. How many seats is the INDIA bloc likely to get?

Dimple Yadav: Our performance in the first and second phases of elections will be better than last time. As the phases progress, our seats will also increase.

Your daughter is campaigning in this election. Will her next step be to enter politics?

Dimple Yadav: A vital part of a mother and daughter’s relationship is being supportive of each other. That’s why my daughter has come here to support me.

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