Akhilesh’s dig over ‘achche din’, announces sops

Lucknow, Jan 22 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi as his Samajwadi Party reportedly tied up with the Congress to contest the assembly elections.

The Samajwadi Party leader also announced a series of sops while launching his party manifesto here.

After promising “achche din” (good days), Modi had ended up giving only a Swatch Bharat campaign and organising yoga, the Samajwadi Party leader said mockingly.

“Where are the ‘achche din’? Where is the promised ‘vikas’ development they promised?” he asked, referring to Modi’s famous phrases of the 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign.

“At times they distributed ‘jhaadu’ (broom), sometimes they organised yoga.”

And without taking the name of any rival party, he again alluded to the Bharatiya Janata Party by saying “they are again weaving dreams” and that the central government may announce sops in the upcoming annual budget.

Akhilesh Yadav, who has ousted his father and party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav as the party President, said his Samajwadi Party government had achieved a lot during the five years it was in power.

Mulayam Singh did not attend the event.

“We need to do more,” he said. “But we have done more than what we promised in our (last) election manifesto.”

He did not refer to the infighting in the Samajwadi Party but said he got a chance to become Chief Minister at a young age and “Netaji blessed us”.

He promised to give away free smartphones and pressure cookers, provide fare concession in public transport for women, double Samajwadi Pension to Rs 1,000, give mid-day meals to labourers and announced three metro projects in Agra, Varanasi and Kanpur.

The smartphone will be distributed to people over 18 years with an annual income of less than Rs 2 lakh and provided they are not Grade I government employees.

“Those who build statues in Noida and Lucknow can only be seen on television,” he said, referring to BSP supremo Mayawati.

“To combat malnourishment, especially in Bundelkhand region, our government will provide one kg of free ghee and milk powder to the primary school students.

“All the five years we ruled (Uttar Pradesh), we did not deviate from our socialist ideology,” he added to thunderous applause.

“We have done development work all the five years,” he said, and listed his achievements in rural electrification, road infrastructure and health care.

Akhilesh Yadav promised to link all district centres with four-lane roads.

The staggered Uttar Pradesh assembly election begins on February 11.

The Samajwadi Party has decided to contest 298 of the 403 assembly seats and leave 105 to its ally the Congress, party sources said.

Talks between the Congress and Samajwadi Party had hit a roadblock earlier after the latter reportedly refused to spare more than 90 seats to the Congress.

–IANS

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