On a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the Purvanchal Expressway in Azamgarh, former UP Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party (SP) national president Akhilesh Yadav claimed it was his government’s brainchild which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) “relaunched by changing the name”. “This was originally Samajwadi Purvanchal Expressway, but the word ‘Samajwadi’ has been dropped. The technical specifications have also been changed. We used to claim that even if you move on it at 120 kmph, a glass of water will not spill on you. But with the changed specification, even at 20 kmph the glass might fall,” said Akhilesh.
Akhilesh also claimed that the BJP has even reduced the width of the road. “The SP had wanted to make the expressway a six-lane one, that can be expandable to eight lanes. This will remain six-lane and will not be expanded,” Akhilesh said. He also said that the BJP has deceived the people of Purvanchal, as Ballia, Varanasi, Ayodhya and Gorakhpur were left out under the Purvanchal Expressway project. The SP chief said there would be no service lanes under the new project, and there is no streetlight.
“The BJP can do anything to lower the costs. The roads are being constructed under PWD standards. Who will construct the toilets? The SP had built amenities which could cater to the passengers of two buses simultaneously,” he said.
The BJP could do anything to stay in power. Only the BJP government had the “immense courage” to claim someone else’s project as their own without any remorse, he added. He also drew comparisons between the cost of expressways constructed by the BJP government and the one headed by him. “The SP had constructed an expressway in 19 months. Show that this expressway can be made in 17-18 months,” he challenged.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma refuting the charges. Sharma said by claiming credit for the projects being implemented by “the government of the day”, Yadav was insulting the development work itself.
The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister also alleged that the government is swift in taking action whenever its leaders are criticised on social media, but doesn’t show the same enthusiasm when it happens with others. “Sometime back I was getting severely abused on social media. I had filed a complaint in this regard, but no action was taken. In similar cases with BJP leaders, instant action is taken and the culprit is thrown in jail,” Yadav claimed.
With PTI inputs