Samajwadi Party
chief Akhilesh Yadav hit back at BJP leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s
comments linking cycles with terrorists on Monday saying “an insult to the
cycle is an insult to the entire nation.” The cycle is the party symbol of the
Samajwadi Party.

Narendra Modi,
while campaigning for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, referred to the 2008 Ahmedabad
serial blasts and rhetorically questioned why cycles were used for the attack. “Today,
I am referring to this because some political parties have gone soft on
terrorists,” the prime minister said.  

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“The blasts were executed
in two ways. The first one was in the city at 50-60 places, and then after two
hours, a blast took place in a vehicle in a hospital, as relatives, officials
and leaders would be going there,” the PM said in Hardoi.

On July 26, 2008,
22 bombs went off in various parts of Ahmedabad within 70 minutes. Fifty-six
people were killed in the terror attack and over 200 injured. A special court
on Friday handed down death sentences to 38 of the 49 people convicted of being
participants in the terror attack.

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It is with
reference to this terror attack, the prime minister said, “In the initial
blasts, the bombs were kept on cycles…I wonder why they (terrorists) opted for

Reacting sharply
to Modi’s comment, Akhilesh Yadav said, “The cycle connects the farmers to
their fields, laying the foundation of prosperity. The cycle takes our
daughters to school, rising above social restrictions, it races ahead,
untouched by inflation; the cycle is the common man’s ride, the pride of rural

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The back-and-forth
between the PM and the former UP CM comes as India’s biggest state elects its
403-member legislative assembly. Voting for three phases has concluded. The
first phase saw 58 Assembly constituencies go to polls, the second 55 and the
third 59. Elections in Uttar Pradesh are being held in four phases. The
upcoming four phases will be conducted on February 23, February 27, March 3 and
March 7. Results will be declared on March 10.