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Akhilesh: We mean business

lucknow Updated: May 27, 2012 15:36 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi

Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday said his government would have to work hard for five years to ensure the state doesn't miss the bus to development.

"If we fail to script a turnaround story, UP will touch a new low in terms of development," he said while warning the bureaucrats to change their style of functioning. "Results won't be possible if officers do not reform themselves," said the chief minister while speaking at the Hindustan Times-Hindustan Development Conclave.

Insisting that bureaucrats won't be allowed to dominate the governance process as was the case in the previous government, Akhilesh recalled the ignorance of BSP MPs on the entry of foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail sector in Uttar Pradesh.

"They (BSP leaders) were not aware that a leading foreign brand had set up shop in Lucknow while the party was opposing the same," he said while taking the FDI topic forward: "We will support the Centre on the issue only if it is in the interest of farmers."

"The people have expressed faith in us…they have given us a thumping majority. We will have to devote all our energy," he said while reminding the people that the Mayawati government too had been given a clear majority but was voted out for "its misdeeds".

Whose Taj is it anyway?
"We will have to bring Taj Mahal to Uttar Pradesh," said the chief minister while referring to some tourism promotion material of other states, which claimed the monument was part of Incredible India. "True, Taj Mahal is in India. But it is in UP too. We will have to work to bring it to Uttar Pradesh," said chief minister amidst thunderous applause from the audience.

The chief minister hoped the Centre would extend cooperation to put the state back on development track. "We will take the state ahead with the cooperation of the Centre," he said while reminding the UPA how the Samajwadi Party (SP) helped it on the nuclear issue.

"We are sure the Centre will help us out. It will help us in the field of power as we helped them on the nuclear deal issue," he said.

The development scenario had gone from bad to worse, the chief minister admitted while citing examples of Kanpur, Firozabad and Bhadohi. Referring to Yamuna Expressway project, he said the 160-km expressway built during the previous regime would be extended to Lucknow.

"It would shorten the distance between the state capital and New Delhi," he said.Listing his achievements, Akhilesh said his government had unveiled a 100-point agenda incorporating various central and state schemes aimed at developing the state.

"A number of new schemes too had been formulated and the government would announce them in the state budget on June 1," he said.