Akhilesh Yadav’s ‘political rath’ to traverse Purvanchal e-way today
LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party (SP) national president Akhilesh Yadav will traverse the entire 340-km Purvanchal Expressway on ‘political rath’ on Wednesday “in a symbolic reiteration” that the expressway was the previous SP government’s project.
Before this, on Tuesday, hours ahead of the expressway’s inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the SP cadres did “symbolic floral inauguration” in all the districts falling on the longest expressway in the country.
SP state spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said: “Akhileshji will begin the fourth leg of Vijay Yatra in the morning (on Wednesday) from Ghazipur and end it in Lucknow the same evening.” Ghazipur is one end of the expressway, Lucknow the other.
On Tuesday, hours before the PM landed at the Sultanpur IAF emergency landing airstrip on the Purvanchal expressway to inaugurate the expressway, the SP workers wearing red caps rode bicycles and did “floral inauguration” of the six-lane road in various districts along it. The SP workers acted on instructions that party chief Akhilesh Yadav had issued the day before.
As the expressway was blocked for traffic on Tuesday at many points in all the districts due to the PM’s event, in many places SP workers climbed (carrying their bicycles) on the expressway from the sides and then rode along, showering flowers.
Akhilesh said the Samajwadi Expressway’s name was changed as part of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s habit of renaming of the SP’s projects and re-inaugurating them.
On Tuesday, Yadav tweeted pictures of the “inauguration” and the foundation-laying ceremony of the expressway by him as chief minister in December 2016. “How will the BJP wipe out from the pages of history that the foundation for the expressway was laid on December 16,” he said later in a statement.
Originally, Akhilesh was scheduled to take the expressway for his Ghazipur to Azamgarh Vijay Yatra. But the Ghazipur district administration denied permission.
Yadav also said that the BJP was five years behind SP’s rule “in the way it was doing the inauguration”. He added fighter jets had landed on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway when the SP ruled the state and the BJP government copied it for the Purvanchal Expressway.
Hours before the inauguration of the expressway Akhilesh Yadav alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre was trying to steal the credit for the work done by his party. Akhilesh Yadav’s tweet, roughly translated from Hindi, read: “The ribbon came from Lucknow and the scissors came from New Delhi. There is a ‘khicham-khichai (tug-of-war)’ to take credit for the work of SP. It is hoped that till now the people of Lucknow must have memorised the length of the ‘Samajwadi Purvanchal Expressway.”
And after the inauguration in Sultanpur, Akhilesh said in a statement: “Even as the (UP) assembly elections are getting closer, the BJP is frightened over the rising public anger against it. That’s why the chief minister who sat idle for 4.5 years is on foundation-laying and inauguration spree and spinning false stories of development.”