MAJOR POLITICAL parties have fled from Wazirganj and on Monday Union Minister of State for Steel Akhilesh Das said a Congress candidate had been given a ticket from the ward (No. 95) but he bowed out of fear of a local mafia.
All the major political parties including the BJP, Congress, and SP have failed to put up candidates in Wazirganj in the ensuing civic polls, thus giving a walkover to Saima Naeem wife of mafia-turned-politician Mohammad Naeem.
Preferring not to disclose the name of a candidate, Das stated it was unfortunate that “we live under fear”. But he claimed that he did not know who ‘Mohammad Naeem or Nammu’ was.
However, the minister said it was this lawlessness that the Congress was determined to weed out by getting former cop Manzoor Ahmed elected as the mayor of Lucknow. Manzoor had served as the top cop of UP and also vice-chancellor of the Agra University.
In his first appearance before the media after filing the nomination papers, Manzoor Ahmed underlined the problems that had gripped the city. He aired his concern about the poor quality of water, sewage and drainage system. Manzoor emphasised the need for the proper mechanism to tackle deadly dengue. He said the situation was pathetic due to the lack of fogging machines to fight the menace.
He said that the LMC schools were in pathetic state and added the main thrust would be on to increase the infrastructure of such institutions. Manzoor said he intended to develop the city on the lines of Bangalore. “I don’t talk of Beijing, Bangalore is an ideal city for us,” he reiterated.
As per his priorities after getting elected as Mayor, Manzoor said he would make every corporator feel as the Mayor of his ward.
On query of bypassing Achal Mehrotra and appointing Manzoor as the mayoral candidate, Das said the decision was unanimous and the party workers, including Mehrotra, were determined to work for the success of Manzoor Ahmed.
He refused to admit that there was a tough fight from any political party, “We are way ahead of others,” said the minister.