Lucknow: Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav on Monday said his party's 'Pichhde, Dalit, Alpsankhyak' include the half of India's population -- the women --, the tribals, as well as the forward section of the society.
"Be it 'Agde' or 'Adivasi,' or 'Adhi Abadi' everyone is included in the PDA for which our party is batting," Yadav, who reached Lucknow with his PDA yatra, told reporters.
'PDA' is a term coined by the party to refer to the backward, Dalits, and minorities.
He said the rally, which reached Lucknow on Monday, has already covered more than 5,000 km across the state. The yatra will conclude in Etawah's Saifai on November 22.
He said the yatra is being taken out to raise awareness about the threat to social justice and rights and honour of the people, and to press for a caste census.
Replying to a question on PDA, he said, "PDA is the party's strategy while INDIA is the opposition's alliance. PDA is important and we are working to associate people with it." "It is also for saving the country from the forces conspiring to divide it," he said.
"The path to the nation's (Delhi throne) will go through Uttar Pradesh only," the SP president said here, in an obvious reference to the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Yadav also criticised the state of health infrastructure in UP under the Yogi Adityanath government.
"Dengue is spreading fast and in some villages 20 deaths were reported. But the state government is sleeping. Son of an MP died in SGPGI here for lack of treatment," he said, adding that the government is not spending enough money on health.
"BJP only indulges in conspiracies and spreads rumours through you (media). It has nothing new to show," said Yadav before starting his yatra.
The yatra started from Purvanchal Expressway and covered a distance of about 20 kms on cycle, which is also the party's election symbol, to culminate at Janeshwar Mishra park in Gomti Nagar area. The yatra took over 3.30 hours to reach the park.
On the Andhra Pradesh train accident, Yadav said such events have exposed the government's claims of having the technology that will alert about potential risks. "What kind of 'kavach' is this?"