A change in power has altered Uttar Pradesh’s equation with the Centre. At the Hindustan Times-Hindustan Conclave on Saturday, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and Union human resource development minister Kapil Sibal exuded a bonhomie not seen in five years of Mayawati’s rule.
Speaking at the event, Sibal indicated that the Congress-led UPA government would collaborate with the Samajwadi Party (SP) government in Uttar Pradesh if the latter reciprocates the gesture.
“The central government is ready to support the UP government but you know what the Centre expects in return,” Sibal said.
Yadav, while highlighting his government’s 100-point development programme in IT, industry, infrastructure, health, education and agriculture, hoped the Centre would extend cooperation to put the state back on development track.
Reminding the HRD minister how his party had supported UPA-I on the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement in 2008, Yadav said, “We are sure the Centre will help us out in the field of power as we helped them on the nuclear deal issue.”
Calling for governance reforms, Sibal told the gathering of bureaucrats, industrialists, businessmen and academicians that it was important to change our style of functioning.
“Results won’t be possible if officers do not reform themselves,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Yadav met former President APJ Abdul Kalam — the man who had once helped him reflect on the disparities that exist in the country — at the inaugural session of the conclave.
“As a kid, I remember having visited Chandipur-on-Sea for the test-fire of Pinaka, the indigenously built multi-barrel rocket launcher. You had given me a binocular to see how the poor made a dash to collect the bombshells after the test-fire. You had told me that these empty shells mean money to the poor,” Yadav said.