Tata group patriarch Ratan Tata has described Akhilesh Yadav as a “progressive chief minister”, endorsing the Uttar Pradesh leader’s policies ahead of crucial state elections early next year.
“Earlier, UP was lagging behind but he (Akhilesh) has taken it forward on the path of progress,” Tata said on Thursday during an official programme in the presence of the chief minister and his wife Dimple, a Lok Sabha MP.
The business magnate’s praise will come as moral victory of sorts for the Samajwadi Party leader, who is caught in a bitter family feud with his uncle and the party’s state chief Shivpal. Over the past few months, Akhilesh has been trying to build the party’s campaign on the development plank, projecting himself as a leader keen to break free from the political agenda of caste and creed.
“I am very happy to be in Uttar Pradesh. CM Akhilesh Yadav has taken UP much ahead of other states,” Tata added during the launch of point of sales (PoS) machines at 667 fair price shops.
“Due to the vision of the progressive CM, electronic system (PoS machine) has been introduced at fair price shops to ensure ration for the poor. It is a privilege to work in UP.”
Tata, himself battling a boardroom battle with ousted group chairman Cyrus Mistry, also referred to Yadav as a “close friend”.
The PoS machines are linked with Aadhar cards and connected with the database of National Informatics Centre (NIC). The Aadhar-enabled public distribution system (PDS) is a way to check fudging of records at fair price shops.
“It is a biometric device. A beneficiary will only have to give his Aadhar number at the fair price shop. After feeding it in PoS machine, the shop owner will get all details of the customer,” Pavithra Kumar, head of Tata Trust, Andhra Pradesh, told HT.