On Monday, the Akhilesh Yadav government finally delivered on its most attractive poll promise -- laptops for students. The chief minister himself gifted the first installment to 10,000 proud students in Lucknow.
All the machines are from HP - probably the biggest ever one-time order in the world – and have a 14-inch monitor and 500GB hard disk.
But they do have something else that ordinary HP laptops do not have: Tamper proof photographs of the chief minister and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. The picture would appear every time the machine is booted. Even the rucksacks of the gadget have the photos of the father-son duo.
While this looks like the next big grouse for the opposition, the students are least bothered.
"It will be the most expensive and exquisite possession in my household," said Sameena Ali, who lives in a two-room house in Lucknow's Old City.
Functions cost more than cash dole
The state government has spent Rs. 12.5 crore to organise the functions where Rs. 8.5 crore unemployment allowance have been distributed. An RTI reply from the labour department said between March and November 2012, the government had distributed Rs. 8.5 crore to unemployed youth. The functions cost the state exchequer Rs. 12.5 crore.