CRITICISED BY BJP for using his photograph on items distributed among the people under central schemes, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday cited an instance when a student in Rae Bareli had mistaken him for Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
Speaking at Dhanuvasandh Upper Primary School in Mohanlalganj on the outskirts of Lucknow, Akhilesh said: “Ek baar main Rae Bareli gaya. Maine bachchon se padhne likhne ke barey mein poochha kuch bata paye kuch nahi bata paye.” (Once I went to Rae Bareli. I asked students about their studies. Some could answer, some could not).”
He added: “Maine ek bachche se poochha… kya tum humein pehchan paate ho. Usne kaha humne pehchan liya. Maine kaha batao hum kaun hain to usne kaha aap Rahul Gandhi hain (I asked a child, whether he can recognise me or not? The child said he had recognised me. When I asked him who was I, he said you are Rahul Gandhi).”
Claiming that such incidents had happened earlier as well, Akhilesh said this was why his government was focusing on improving the level of education. “Any society, state or a country can progress only when there is good primary education and health facilities… Several countries have progressed when they improved the level of education,” he added.
Akhilesh, who was recently targeted by the BJP for distributing bags of grains carrying his photograph to beneficiaries as part of Centre’s Food Security Scheme, distributed steel plates and glasses to students in Mohanlalganj under Union government’s mid-day meal scheme in primary and upper primary schools. The utensils, to be distributed among 1 crore schoolchildren across UP, carried Akhilesh’s photograph.
While mid-day meal is a central scheme, the SP regime has allocated Rs 114 crore for the project. “Under the central scheme, there is no compulsion to provide utensils to students but only food… The SP government has allocated its own funds to provide utensils,” said Principal Secretary (Information) Navneet Sehgal. The deadline to distribute the utensils is December.