Akhilesh Yadav welcomed Dara Singh Chauhan after he resigned as a minister in Yogi Adityanath’s government. Yadav said that together they’d move towards equality in society, and ended with the hashtag ‘Mela Hobe’. 

Yadav’s tweet says, “Hearty welcome and greetings to Dara Singh Chouhanji, the relentless fighter in the struggle for ‘social justice’. The SP and its allies will unitedly take forward the movement for equality … Eliminating discrimination is our collective resolve. Respect for all, place for all. Mela Hobe”. 

Also Read | PM Modi chairs BJP’s first meeting on UP Assembly elections

The ‘Mela Hobe’ slogan is reminiscent of the ‘khela hobe’ catchphrase which became widely popular as the rallying cry of The All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) which defeated the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) in the West Bengal assembly elections. 

Also Read | UP Elections 2022: Congress announces first list of 125 candidates, check details

Since then, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has tried to make this a national rallying cry, tying in with TMC’s attempt to increase its footprint across states like Goa and Tripura. 

Notably, Yadav appropriated ‘khela hobe’, the catchy song to come out of the coined phrase, believing it might give his party an edge against the BJP. So, ‘khela hobe’ became ‘Khadeda Hoibe’, which means to ‘be chased out’. The song is a mix of Bhojpuri and Awadhi, and the intent is to appeal to eastern and central Uttar Pradesh voters. 

Yadav also noted, over a month, that the response to this ‘Khadeda Hoibe’ slogan at rallies and meetings was generally positive. This prompted the Samajwadi Party think tank to form a song around it as well. 

Also Read | After Swami Prasad Maurya, three MLAs quit BJP weeks ahead of UP polls

With the election drawing closer, Chauhan’s news of resignation came on the heels of Swami Prasad Maurya’s departure. Further, Yadav is set to meet Chandrashekhar Azad, the Bhim Army chief today, in Lucknow, which could possibly mean an alliance between the Samajwadi Party and the Azad Samaj Party.

Chandrashekhar Azad has been vocal about Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) not doing enough for the Dalits, and Yadav is looking to form alliances with small parties to have a better chance at winning against the juggernaut BJP machinery.

The Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections will be conducted in seven phases from February 10 to March 7, 2022. Votes will be counted on March 10.