Akhilesh Yadav has that ineffable quality called charm – and combined with political astuteness, it makes him a force to reckon with even as he currently sits out the corridors of power. In an hour-long conversation he skilfully deflected the harder questions – “I have a long way to go in politics. There will be a time to tell these stories when I write my autobiography a few decades from now” – even as he returned, repeatedly, to his development agenda for UP, claiming the BJP’s Hindutva rhetoric will go only so far in the state. “God exists in every village in UP. Hanuman and Krishna exist in every village. They have never been under threat. But the BJP is about ‘dikhawa’ (display).”
The conversation spanned everything from his friendship with Rahul Gandhi to the Gujarat elections; from his relationship with father Mulayam Singh to PM Modi, and went no small way in explaining why Akhilesh was held to be the party’s face for the future.
It would be a mistake to write that off yet, as this conversation showed. Watch the full session above.
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