With both the ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh and the BJP, which has government at the Centre, having made clear that they will contest the 2017 Assembly polls in state on “development” plank, a political war has broken out with both claiming credit for various infrastructure projects – completed, ongoing or proposed.
Already in a tussle seeking to claim credit for the under-construction Metro Rail project in Lucknow, a fresh row has erupted between the two parties over the Kanpur Metro Rail, just days before Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is set to lay its foundation stone. Workers of both the parties have put up hoardings and posters across Kanpur besides circulating messages on social media taking credit for the
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Rs 17,092 crore project. Akhilesh will lay the foundation stone of the first phase of the project in Kanpur on October 4. In the first phase, a 23.78-km line connecting IIT to Naubasta locality will be laid. Nearly 15.16 km of the line will be elevated while the remaining will be underground.
BJP leaders are claiming that the project was granted to the district following efforts of local MP and senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi with the help of Narendra Modi government at the Centre. SP leaders, however, countered it saying that it was the Akhilesh Yadav government that proposed the project and also provided land for it. SP MLA from Kalyanpur, Satish Kumar Nigam, claimed that immediately after the party government took oath in 2012, he and other party legislators from Kanpur had requested Akhilesh for Metro Rail in the district. Akhilesh had assured to work on it after launching Lucknow Metro, Nigam claimed.
“Kanpur Metro Rail is a dream project of our CM. It is a project of the Samajwadi Party. BJP government at the Centre delayed in giving clearance to the project. How could BJP take credit of the work done by CM and the Samajwadi Party?” Nigam asked.
“The state government initiated the project and now it is going to start it with its own resources. SP workers were first to erect hoardings to express gratitude to CM for the project,” he added. Nigam with SP’s Kanpur Mahanagar president, Fazal Mahmood met Akhilesh in Lucknow on Saturday and appealed him to lay the foundation of project after Navratri so that maximum people could attend the event.
Fazal said that BJP workers have put up hoardings seeking to give credit of the project to Joshi but that was unethical. “Joshi did not work for even those projects that are directly under the central government,” he added.
BJP district president Surendra Maithani asked, “How could Akhilesh Yadav take credit for Narendra Modi’s Metro?”
Stating that SP should call the project a “joint venture of the Centre and the state government”, Maithani said that Kanpur Metro would not have been possible without the support of central government. “This is a project of the central government and it could be started because of efforts of local MP, Murli Manohar Joshi. The state government is providing local support like a nodal agency. Why didn’t the SP government start the project when it was part of the UPA government till 2014 Lok Sabha elections?,” he asked. On Friday, the BJP local unit sent a letter to the district administration asking it to make arrangements in view of the public that will visit the site for the foundation stone laying ceremony. “Joshi ji along with other BJP MLAs will be present at the event,” Maithani said.
Out of the 10 MLAs in Kanpur Nagar, five are from SP, four from BJP and one is of the Congress.
Akhilesh’s project or Modi’s?
“Kanpur Metro Rail is a dream project of our CM. It is a project of the Samajwadi Party. BJP government at the Centre delayed in giving clearance to the project. How could BJP take credit of the work done by the CM and the Samajwadi Party?” Satish Kumar Nigam SP MLA, Kalyanpur
How could Akhilesh Yadav take credit for Narendra Modi’s Metro? This is a project of the central government and could be started due to efforts of party MP Murli Manohar Joshi. The state government is providing support like a nodal agency. ” Surendra Maithani BJP district president