Updated: November 16, 2021 6:37:08 pm
Inaugurating the Purvanchal Expressway, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday sounded the poll bugle for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, saying the previous government did “injustice” to the people by “working for only one family”, while the BJP “ushered in an era of unforeseen development”. He also said that there were areas in Uttar Pradesh previously “a hub of mafia and poverty” but the expressway is a testimony to the development the state has witnessed in the recent past.
“When I laid the foundation stone of Purvanchal Expressway three years back, I had never thought that I will land here on an aircraft one day,” said PM Modi. “This is the expressway to the state’s development and will show the way to a new Uttar Pradesh. This expressway is a reflection of modern facilities in UP. This expressway is the expressway of the strong willpower of UP. It is a living proof of the accomplishment of resolutions in UP,” Modi said.
He added, “Those who have any doubt on capabilities of UP should come to Sultanpur today to witness this. Such a modern expressway has now come up where there was just a piece of land three-four years back.”
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 16, 2021
Constructed at an estimated cost of about Rs 22,500 crore, the Purvanchal Expressway is going to give a boost to the economic development of eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh, especially the districts of Lucknow, Barabanki, Amethi, Ayodhya, Sultanpur, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur, a statement released by the government said.
The expressway starts from Chandsarai village in the district of Lucknow located on the Lucknow-Sultanpur road and ends at Haidaria village on National Highway 31 in Ghazipur district. It is currently a six-lane highway and can be expanded to eight-lane in the future.
In a veiled attack on the last regime, Modi said, “The government before Yogiji did injustice to people of UP. The manner in which they discriminated and worked for the welfare of only their family is apparent. The people of UP will permanently remove them from the path of the state’s development.”
Modi said that after taking over as the Prime Minister, he had launched a lot of projects for the development of Uttar Pradesh. However, it was difficult to work due to the “lack of cooperation” from the state government back then.
“I used to be surprised by the situation 7-8 years back. So, in 2014 when you gave me the opportunity to serve this great nation, I started going into the minute details of its development. I initiated a lot of projects for UP. The poor were given pucca houses, toilets were built in houses so that women don’t need to step out to relieve themselves. We tried to ensure that every house has electricity. But the then UP government didn’t cooperate. They were also scared of upsetting their vote banks by standing beside me in public. I used to come as an MP, and they used to disappear after receiving me at the airport. They were ashamed as they had nothing to show as proof of their work,” Modi said.
He added that having BJP in power both at the Centre and in the state ensures all-round development. “The balanced development of the country is important. Some areas marching ahead in the race of development and some areas lagging decades behind isn’t right for any country,” he said.
Meanwhile, Priyanka Gandhi on Tuesday hit out at the BJP government, accusing the state government of spending public money to get crowds for the rallies of Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, and asserted that everyone in the state has understood the BJP’s politics of “jumlas” (rhetoric).
The Congress general secretary shared clippings of media reports on Twitter that claimed that public funds were being sought by officials to gather crowds for rallies. “During the lockdown, when lakhs of labourers were returning from Delhi to their villages in Uttar Pradesh on foot, the BJP government did not provide buses to them,” Gandhi charged in a tweet in Hindi. But the government is spending crores of the public’s hard-earned money to bring crowds to the rallies of the PM and Home Minister,” she tweeted.
“Everyone has understood the BJP’s politics of “jumlon ki dukaan, pheeke pakwaan (politics of rhetoric, low on substance)”. Therefore, effort is being made to save face by investing crores,” she said.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav alleged that the BJP government has taken credit for SP’s work on the Purvanchal Expressway. “It is hoped that by now, the people of Lucknow must have memorised the length of the ‘Samajwadi Purvanchal Expressway’,” Yadav tweeted.
However, UP BJP hit back, alleging that Yadav was troubled by the fact that the 341-km road has been built without corruption.
In a tweet in Hindi, Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh said, “Akhilesh-ji is feeling troubled over the speed of the double engine government in UP. Akhilesh-ji is thinking how corruption of even one rupee has not been committed and the 341-km Purvanchal Expressway is ready. Had he been in power, he would have constructed a two-lane expressway, while the money meant for the rest of the four lanes would have filled his coffers.”
(With agency inputs)
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