The Uttar Pradesh government resurfaced a 1,500-meter-long road on Friday night on a war footing. This road led to a rally ground in Bhagpat district, where chief minister Akhilesh Yadav addressed a rally on Saturday.
However, another road that led to Janta Vaidik College ground, where Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) PM nominee Narendra Modi addressed a rally on the same day, stayed as it was: shabby and dotted with potholes.
The sudden resurfacing of a road in a minority-dominated locality by the Akhilesh Yadav government a day before his rally left many people fuming.
A section of local residents is annoyed because the 180-km-long Delhi-Saharanpur road, along with other roads in Bhagpat, is in a poor condition, and spelling trouble for thousands of commuters."All roads...in western UP, especially in Bhagpat district, are in pathetic state... Since the Samajwadi Party's (SP's) coming to power, no road resurfacing has been done...The SP does not want to see development in this area," said Vijay Singh Rana, an advocate of Baraut, a town in Bhagpat district.
Baraut, where caste and religion play a key part in politics, is grappling with poor infrastructure and drainage mechanism.
"Resurfacing of a small portion of a road just before the CM's rally shows the indifferent attitude of the SP government. It shows that Akhilesh Yadav is trying to appease the minorities, instead of implementing uniform policies," said Deepak Kaushik, a local resident.
Baraut is just 40 km from Delhi. But because of the dug-up Delhi-Saharanpur road, it takes 3-4 hours to reach Baraut from the Capital. "The reason is that UP government has not built or widened this road for several years," said Kaushik.
Local residents said even though neighbouring areas such as Noida, Ghaziabad and Sonipat in Haryana had witnessed all-round development, Bhagpat had not changed.
"Development has never been on the forefront in any election here. So, the area remained neglected till date," said Sumit Katha, a resident of Bhagpat.