Lucknow, Apr 2 (PTI) Terming the electoral understanding between the SP and BSP as “not natural”, UP Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Shahi said today such tie-ups cannot work for the betterment of villagers, economically weaker sections or labourers.

“The alliance between Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party is certainly not a natural one. This can be simply proved by the statement of a senior SP leader, who had recently said in the UP Vidhan Parishad that his party had sent a number of people to jail in NRHM scam. Now, tell me who were the accused in the NRHM scam?” Shahi told PTI here today.

Sharpening his attack, the UP cabinet minister said, “In the NRHM scam, if there was any main role, it was of the leaders of the Bahujan Samaj Party, and it took place during their tenure”.

In a way, they have compromised with corruption, he alleged.

“Now if there is any electoral understanding among those who have sold the sugar mills of the state and those who have looted the money meant for welfare schemes of the poor, I think that such electoral understanding or alliance can never work for the betterment of the villagers, economically weaker sections of the society or for labourers,” he said.

Asked how he viewed the challenge posed by rivals in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, Shahi said, “BJP is a competent party from the organizational point of view. It will activate its entire organization, and face all the challenges in the best possible manner.” He exuded confidence that the party will devise its strategy for the elections to UP Legislative Council elections and deliver a splendid performance.

The UP agriculture minister on this occasion said that the state government was committed to doubling the income of the farmers, and in this regard, the government has come up with ‘Kisan Paathshalas’.

“Apart from this, the first branch of International Rice Research Institute (based in Phillippines) in the country will be set up in Varanasi, and work in this regard is going on,” he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.