Unlike a few occasions in the recent past when he took his son and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to task, Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday showered praise on him, terming Uttar Pradesh as “number one in development across the country” while likening his overtures as “my mann ki baat”.
Significantly, presence of expelled SP leader Amar Singh at the event and sharing stage with Mulayam and Akhilesh gave rise to much speculation.
While addressing a meeting at the foundation stone-laying ceremony for Dr Naresh Trehan’s Medanta Awadh Hospital in Lucknow, Mulayam said, “This is the only government which has done so much of good work that no one can emulate. Education, medicine everything is free. Laptops were given to 15 lakh students. There were seven medical colleges during my regime, now there are 23.”
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“This,” he said, “is my ‘mann ki baat’ and the state government has fulfiled it.”
The SP chief claimed that there are “reports” that UP is ranked number three in development across the country. “I am saying that with so much development, UP is number one now.” “In Parliament, I challenged others (with the statement) that the UP government has done the maximum work. None of the leaders had any response to my challenge,” he said.
Mulayam also thanked Dr Trehan for “coming to UP” to set up the hospital while laying blame on the previous BSP regime for “ruining the state by blocking development projects”. State health minister Ahmed Hasan echoed similar sentiments. “Since the hospital involves investment of several crores, it is good that Dr Trehan did not come during the BSP regime. His hospital would have been set aside and he would have faced bad times,” the minister said.
During his address, Akhilesh said Lucknow could become the “medical capital of the country” on the basis of the increasing number of medical institutions coming up here. “Illness is truly Samajwadi and can affect any one, rich or poor,” the CM said.
Expressing his gratitude towards Medanta authorities, Akhilesh said, “This beginning has been made by you. Through this not only people will get treatment facilities, even poor patients will be benefited. On the part of my government, I assure all possible help.”
SP workers were surprised to see Amar Singh who had arrived holding Mulayam’s hand. Walking with the help of a stick, Singh, too, addressed the meeting. “Dr Trehan is very close to me. He had spent his life with one person whom I will not name. But did not leave till he was forced to go. If he had desired, he would have set up projects worth several crores,” he said.
In his address, Dr Trehan said that Medanta Awadh will have 1,000 beds and will employ 800 doctors, 3,000 nurses and 2,000 para-medics. “It is a misnomer that we cater to rich people. We have same treatment for rich and poor.
Till our hospital is ready, we will set up one centre in a rented building. Later, we will also set up satellite centres in other districts too,” he said.