NEW DELHI: After caste, religion, polarisation, gender, developmental politics and other issues, the seemingly not-so-humble “saand” (bull) has also made a wild card entry in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly election.
Addressing an election rally in Unnao on Tuesday, Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav said if the party’s government came to power in the state, his government would give a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to those who are killed by an attack from a “saand”.

He said, “I read in the newspaper that a ‘saand’ killed an aged woman in Kanpur Dehat.”
Akhilesh first announced that those who died in accidents while riding a bicycle would get an ex gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh. Attacking the ruling Yogi Adityanath government of the BJP in UP, he said the SP government (which ruled the state between 2012 and 2017) had made cycle tracks but the present dispensation removed them. As a result, several cyclists had lost their lives in accidents.
He went on to declare that if the SP government came to power, it would give compensation of Rs 5 lakh to those cyclists who died in accidents. He added that those who got attacked and killed by bulls would also be compensated with the same amount.

The bicycle is the election symbol of SP.
Taking a jibe at UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath and the BJP, he said a “saand” attacks anything which is red in colour. “The SP leaders and workers wear red cap and, therefore, the ‘saand’ attacks them,” he said.
Addressing a rally in Varanasi on December 23, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had targetted the opposition parties and talked about cows and buffaloes.
He said those making jokes on cows and buffaloes forget that the livelihood of crores of people depends on “pashudhan” (livestock).
PM Modi said, “Cow is our mother and sacred to us,” adding that some find it as “sin”.
In fact, the relation between “saand” and Akhilesh dates back to April 2019 in the run up to the last Lok Sabha election. A bull gatecrashed a rally in Kannauj in UP while Akhilesh was addressing it injuring a few security personnel.
Akhilesh attacked Yogi saying the CM had failed to control the stray animals. In response, Yogi likened the “saand” to Lord Shiva’s vehicle (vaahan) Nandi to take a swipe at Akhilesh.
“Nandi is going to SP’s rallies and asking the whereabouts of the butchers’ friends. I told Nandi Baba that elections are going on. The model code of conduct (MCC) is in place. Please spare them at this time. You can continue your work after the elections are over,” Yogi said.
In a tweet on September 4, Akhilesh again took a potshot at the BJP and Yogi Adityanath, who comes from Gorakhpur. “Bad company is showing its true colours in Gorakhpur. Now, even four-legged animals have adopted the policy of attacking. Businessmen and traders are facing losses and people are facing inconveniences in towns and villages due to the terror of bulls. The BJP has vanished after leaving the people to their fate,” he said.

Meanwhile, in the latest episode, “saand” trended on Twitter and Akhilesh was trolled for making the announcement. While some said it was SP’s “Saand insurance policy”, others tweeted a picture of a bull pulling down the party’s poster and commented that the bulls did not like the announcement.



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