Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday sharpened his attack on Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and his ally Jayant Chaudhary, a Jat leader, in an election speech as he alleged the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s involvement in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.

The Chief Minister blamed his challenger for the killing of Jats in the riots.

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“Yeh jo do ladkon ki jodi aayi hai na, yeh do ladkon ki jodi 2014 me bhi bani thi, 2017 me bhi bani thi (This jodi – that has now come – of these two boys, similar jodi had come in 2017, 2014),” he said. 

“In 2017, the state population had told the jodi… they’re not worthy,” he added, referring to the 2014 national elections and the 2017 UP elections.

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In the 2017 Assembly elections, Akhilesh Yadav and Chaudhary had unsuccessfully contested together.

“In 2013, when the Muzaffarnagar riots happened, two Jat men – Sachin and Gaurav – were killed. One of these two men – who is from Lucknow- was in power… he was responsible for the murder. He called the rioters to the state capital and honoured them. Those who were getting the cases filed, he was making sure they’re behind the bars. The man from Delhi (Rahul Gandhi) was also defending… he said action should not be taken against them,” Yogi Adityanath further said, talking about the partnership between his rivals.

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“Now the duo is back again — only the packaging is new,” he added.

Today’s attack was similar to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “double yuvraj (two crown princes)” jibe at Rahul Gandhi and Tejashwi Yadav during his campaign in Bihar elections. The Prime Minister and other party leaders had used the dig against the opposition leaders’ “double engine government” ​tag with the BJP ruling at the centre and the states.

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Chaudhary and the Samajwadi Party chief also snubbed the ruling party amid reports of an “invite” to the Jat leader to consider switching sides ahead of the state polls. 

The seven phased Uttar Pradesh polls are all set to begin from February 10 and votes will be counted on March 10.