As part of the pre poll promises of the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) government, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday distributed around 8,074 laptops to students from government and aided schools of Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar. Besides, he inaugurated R3,000 crore projects and unveiled another Rs 750 crore infrastructure projects of the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA).
The CM distributed around 51 laptops from the dais. Later, the officials chipped in for its distribution. The CM went to the students assembled at the venue and spoke to them.
Each laptop cost R19,058. Around 5,124 girls and 2,950 boys from both the districts received their laptops. In all, nearly 63% girls got the laptops. Ghaziabad officials said that 93 students could not get their laptops as some of them did not have their ID cards and the others were busy with their exams. 63 students from Gautam Budh Nagar did not receive laptops as they did not arrive.
Nearly 5,598 students, including 3,598 girls from Ghaziabad and nearly 2,476 students, including 1,526 girls from Gautam Budh Nagar arrived for the function.
Initiating the laptop distribution programme, the CM said, "We have invested in schemes that would benefit peoples rather than spending government money on statues and idols. We will create industries for jobs and the laptops will assure you education and growth for employment."
Although the programme was meant for students, the SP leaders could not hold themselves from taking a dig at their arch rival and former UP CM Mayawati. SP leader Azam Khan took on the previous BSP government for spending crores on statutes. Addressing the huge gathering of students, Khan told the girls "become what you want to but don't become Mayawati".
Speaking about doling out more sops for the students, SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav, said, "There was a big question mark on arranging funds for the laptops. But we told our rivals that where there is a will, there is a way. After you complete your graduation, there may be something else that the CM would offer you."
Akhilesh also mentioned the R750-crore sewage treatment plant, road, housing and other infra projects.
He also announced an equal share funding with the Haryana government for construction of an overbridge on river Yamuna to connect Baghpat and Panipat areas. The CM also announced an indoor sports stadium for 41 Provincial Armed Constabulary in Ghaziabad and opening of two police stations at Loni and one at Khoda colony near Indirpauram.
He also promised conversion of Khoda, which has a huge voter base in Ghaziabad, into a nagar palika. A status of tehsil for Loni was also promised.
However, the burning issues of crime, recent power tariff hike and water problems in Ghaziabad did not figure out in the CM's speech. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the function, Akhilesh said, "It was the government's responsibility to look into the water and electricity related problems. We are working to solve power related woes. The police are working hard to control crime in the state."