Lucknow, Nov 17 (IANS) In an embarrassment to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav blamed his free laptop scheme for the party's debacle in the Lok Sabha polls.
Addressing the national convention of the party's women's wing, Mulayam Singh said he had always opposed the distribution of laptops to Class XII students.
"We distributed the laptops and people of the state heard the campaign speeches of Narendra Modi on these very laptops. They were impressed, and we lost the polls," he said. Even as he said all this, Kannauj MP and Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple Yadav was seated on the dias.
In the 2012 assembly elections, Akhilesh Yadav had promised free laptops to the students. The government has in the last two years distributed over 27 lakh laptops among students.
Akhilesh Yadav, however, claims that the laptop scheme as a major achievement of his government.
The scheme was shelved after the party was mauled in the Lok Sabha battle this year.
The Samajwadi Party had 22 seats in the outgoing Lok Sabha but won from only five constituencies in the general election this year.
In contrast, the Bharatiya Janata Party won a staggering 71 of the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh. Two other seats were won by an ally, the Apna Dal.
Mulayam Singh also took potshots at Modi's 'Swach Bharat' drive.
"These campaigns have no meaning as long as there is poverty. Cleanliness if for the rich. If one has to seriously go on a cleanliness drive, he should think of cleaning up poverty."