"BJP has failed so far as the national security is concerned. Our soldiers are dying on the border and in the Naxal affected areas," Yadav told ANI in an exclusive interview.
When asked whether national security will be one of the core agendas of the non-BJP government if formed at the Centre, Yadav said: "National security is the most important issue for any country."
"Regional parties are closer to the people. They have experience as well, given the fact that they have done a good job in the past. So they will deliver their best," said Yadav, also former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
He went on to add: "I do not need to tell people about my life. I have spent seven years of my life in military school. My college mates were martyred on the border. My wife's father has spent his life in the military. My wife's sister and her husband are in the military."
"I ask the BJP people, who claim to be more patriotic - how many people from their families are in the Army. Like the BJP, we do not drumbeat our nationalism," he said.
"If anyone asks me to do the parade, I can. I know when there are open and close lines and how to salute," he added.
The former Chief Minister also hit out at the BJP, stating that one security person dies every day in the country. "BJP talks about soldiers. What type of national security is it when one soldier dies every day," he said.
Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav: BJP has failed so far as the national security is concerned. Our soldiers are dying on the border and in the Naxal affected areas. BJP talks about soldiers. What type of national security is it when one soldier dies every day. pic.twitter.com/lf0dZlDXtH— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) May 2, 2019
Stating that his party believes in working and not in advertising, he said: "When the SP was in power in UP, aircrafts like Sukhoi, Mirage, and Hercules had landed on Lucknow-Agra Expressway. We do not need to furnish certificates for our contribution to the country. Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) has been the Defence Minister of the country. We never mentioned what we gave to the forces."
Yadav further said: "Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had said that he would get more roads constructed like the Expressway. I ask the BJP leaders if they have made a single road where aircraft can land when the need arises."
Slamming UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for heading a Hindu 'math' and also holding a Constitutional post, Yadav said: "He says terrorists have the SP flag. Will he tell me how many flags he has? He has one flag of his 'math,' one of Hindu Yuva Vahini, and one of the RSS."
In Uttar Pradesh, where 80 Lok Sabha seats are up for grabs, SP is contesting 37 seats, BSP 38, and their ally - RLD - three seats. They have not fielded candidates from Amethi and Raebareli from where Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi are seeking their re-election.
Yadav is in the poll fray from Azamgarh Lok Sabha constituency, currently held by his father and SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.
So far 39 Lok Sabha seats have gone to polls in the state, while remaining 41 will go to polls during the remaining three phases of the polling, the last phase of voting being on May 19. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.