Yogi Adityanath didn't take dip in Ganga as he knows rivers are not clean: Akhilesh
Jaunpur (UP), Dec 14: Taking a swipe at Yogi Adityanath, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday said the Uttar Pradesh chief minister cleverly avoided taking a dip in the Ganga, unlike Prime Minister Narendra Modi, knowing well that the waters of none of the rivers were clean.
He also refused to tender an apology for his taunt that people prefer to stay in Benaras ''when the end nears'', saying let the BJP first admit standing in the temple that the Kashi Viswanath corridor project was started during the SP rule.
''See how clever ('hoshiyaar') the chief minister (Yogi Adityanath) is that he did not take a dip in Ganga. Why he did not take a dip? I had gone to Meerut, and saw that the water of river Hindon has turned black.
''River Kali is already black. The banks of river Yamuna are black. If Chambal river does not meet Yamuna, then Yamuna would be dead.
''Who had said that Maa Ganga will be cleaned? Has river Gomti been cleaned? The budget has flowed, but the rivers have not been cleaned...Our CM knows that none of the rivers are clean, and hence he did not take a dip in Maa Ganga.,'' he told reporters in Jaunpur.
The SP supremo answered a volley of questions of the media persons before resuming his Samajwadi Rath Yatra ahead of the state polls early next year.
Yadav's assertion comes a day after Prime Minister Modi inaugurated Shri Kashi Vishwanath Dham in Varanasi.
Modi prayed at the Kaal Bhairav Temple and Kashi Vishvanath Dham in Kashi, and he also took a holy dip in Ganga.
On the prime minister having a lunch with the labourers in Varanasi, Yadav said that he too had eaten food with the labourers.
''The question is that the labourers should always get nutritious food. If any scheme was implemented in this regard in UP, it was in the tenure of the SP government. Why was that scheme stopped,'' he said.
Hitting out at the BJP government, Yadav said, ''This double engine government has already become 'paidal' (pedestrian).
Replying to a question that the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi have been fulfilled with the Dham of Baba Vishvanath in new form (as said by Yogi Adityanath in Varanasi), the SP chief said, ''You may have not heard the full speech of Mahatma Gandhi. He had gone to BHU, and it was the only speech which the Father of the Nation could not complete. (They) will fulfil the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi? On whom were questions raised after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi?.
''The real path shown by Mahatma Gandhi is to take the poor forward, giving respect to all and safeguarding the Constitution,'' he said.
When asked that the BJP is demanding apology from him over his jeering remarks on PM's stay in Varanasi, the SP chief said, ''Who is demanding an apology? When the BJP will answer that when the work on Kashi Vishvanath Corridor started, if it speaks the truth while standing in the temple, then you can get an answer from me.'' As Prime Minister Modi kickstarted his visit to Varanasi, Yadav on Monday remarked jeeringly that people stay in Benaras ''when the end nears'', sparking condemnation from the BJP which said his taunts were ''cruel'' and equated the former chief minister with Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.
''Bahut achhi baat hai. Ek Maheena nahin, do mahina, teen mahina wahin rahein. Woh jagah rahene wali hai. Aakhri samay par vaheen raha jata hai, Benaras mein,'' he said. (It is a very good thing. Not just one month. He should stay there for two months, three months. That's the place to stay. When the end nears, that's where one stays - in Benaras).
According to Hindu beliefs, it is considered auspicious for people to spend the last days of their lives in the holy city of Varanasi.