In what is being seen as the UPA extending an olive branch to Mulayam Singh Yadav, Union finance minister P Chidambaram dashed to Lucknow on Friday to inaugurate 300 bank branches in one go and assured all help for the development of Uttar Pradesh.
Over the last few days, the Samajwadi Party chief has called the Manmohan Singh government “clever and cheat” and late on Thursday Singh, too, expressed apprehensions that the SP may withdraw its support to the government.
In Lucknow to inaugurate 300 branches of nationalised banks, Chidambaram used the occasion to assure “SP president Netaji (Mulayam)” that the UPA was committed to the state’s development.
Showering praises on the CM, the FM outlined the increased annual plan size of the state. The state’s annual plan size had gone up from Rs. 39,000 crore in 2009-2010 to Rs. 57,800 crore in 2012-2013, he said. Assuring more funds, Chidambaram said, “This is a big state with big needs.”
Speaking on the occasion, Akhilesh listed distribution of unemployment allowance and the Kanya Vidya Dhan scheme as the achievements of his government and said the opening of the new branches would help people in getting a bank account opened. “We hope to get cooperation from the Centre,” he said.
Referring to a demand for special status by Bihar, and subsequently by Mulayam for UP, he said he did not favour any special status to any particular state and wanted all of India to grow. But he also said “UP’s progress will determine India’s progress”.