Poll tussle gets wild

Poll tussle gets wild

As electioneering hots up in Uttar Pradesh, it’s getting pretty wild out here. On Tuesday, two chief ministers — Narendra Modi, Gujarat’s chief minister and the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, and UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav — decided to bring lions into the clash, albeit being 250 kms apart from each other.

Modi, while addressing a rally in Bareilly, said his government had provided a few Gir lions to UP on a request from Akhilesh Yadav. “We gave the lions to him (Akhilesh) thinking that he will draw some strength from them...but we found that he has decided to keep them in the cage,” said Modi.

“It is not a child's play to tame a lion from Gujarat (a reference to himself).....we do not put the Gir lions in the cage...they roam freely...may be because they live with lion-hearted people,” the saffron leader said.

“I invite Mulayam Singh Yadav, his chief minister son, his daughter-in-law to come to Gujarat and see for themselves,” Modi went on to say.

Almost around the same time, Akhilesh said in Lucknow that his government planned to develop a ‘lion safari’ in his home district of Etawah, about 260 km from here, where the lions from Gir would be kept.

On Modi's ‘lion barb’ Akhilesh said the lions from Gujarat had ‘roared’ when he and one of his ministerial colleagues had visited them in the zoo here a few days ago. “The forest officials know what the animals want to convey...and they told me that the lions had roared to welcome me and my colleague,” Akhilesh said.

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