Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Uttar Pradesh government for its handling of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reported The Indian Express.

Yadav censured the saffron party while addressing the Vijay Rath Yatra in Kanpur – the opening rally of his 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election campaign.

On October 3, eight people, including four farmers, were killed during a protest against the Centre’s farm laws in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district. Farmer bodies have alleged that a vehicle belonging to Ashish Mishra, the son of Union minister Ajay Mishra, had run over the protestors.

Yadav said that the BJP had failed to remove Ajay Mishra from the post of Union minister, and claimed that his son was arrested only due to pressure from Opposition parties.

He also declared that the Samajwadi Party would restore the “power of the farmers” who were “crushed” by the saffron party.

“We stand for change bringing relief to farmers, youth and the people of UP,” Yadav told News18. “Look at the way the farmers have been crushed. The farmers’ income has not increased.”

He added that his party will “throw the Bharatiya Janata Party out of power” after the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, The Indian Express reported.

“This government and our ‘baba chief minister’ [Adityanath] are going to go, and he is not going to go alone as the bull and bulldozer with which he roams will also go along with him,” Yadav said.

The “bull and bulldozer” remark referred to stray cattle seized by the Chief Minister Adityanath’s government and the unauthorised properties it has demolished during its tenure, according to The Indian Express.

Yadav also claimed that not one unit of power production had taken place in Uttar Pradesh since the BJP had come to power. “High power tariff is crushing the farmers and the businesses,” he said.

Yadav said that the Samajwadi Party’s election manifesto will be released soon, according to The Indian Express. If elected to power, he said that the Samajwadi Party would bring back several social welfare schemes.

“We promise changes in power reform and free electricity to farmers,” Yadav said, according to News18. “Jobs for youth and putting UP on the growth path is our agenda. During the five years of BJP rule, Dalits and minorities have been humiliated and subjected to atrocities. The Samajwadi Party will undo this injustice.”

Meanwhile, Yadav said that the Samajwadi Party will not have an alliance with Congress or Bahujan Samaj Party during the 2022 Assembly elections.

“Our experience of alliances with bigger parties had been bitter,” he said. “We therefore now look forward to bringing in smaller parties together and not the bigger ones.”