Updated: April 30, 2014 1:54:22 am
With over a hundred election meetings behind him, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav counts the days left for campaigning as he boards his helicopter to address rallies in Sultanpur and Ambedkarnagar.
“We will get only five days for campaigning in last phase. We need to cover more seats every day,” Akhilesh said while going through some papers with pointers scribbled for his speech.
Heading for Varun Gandhi’s parliamentary seat Sultanpur, Akhilesh pre-empts an obvious question. “You will ask about Modi wave in UP. For you people Modi is a phenomenon but I don’t see Modi as a ‘person’. For me, he is a RSS model which had earlier divided the country on religious lines,” he said, before adding Modi means ‘Model for Dividing India’.
“There is no wave, just a communal effect which RSS is giving by putting Modi in the front,” he said. Nearly half way into the elections, Akhilesh claimed they would defeat BJP on development agenda. “Look there, at the Janeshwar Mishra Park, nearly 400 acres. Around 40 per cent of the work is complete and it will be inaugurated in August. And there is Chak Gajaria project, see the road is being made ? an IT City, a super speciality hospital will come there,” Akhilesh said pointing to the projects.
Texting on his cellphone, Akhilesh is confident of getting maximum seats in Uttar Pradesh. “Don’t ask me about numbers but we will be number one, much ahead of BJP,” he said confidently.
As he crossed Amethi, Akhilesh pointed to several industrial units. “See all industries are closed. Big pieces of land were given. We also gave land for AIIMS in Rae Bareli and a Rail Coach Factory, free of cost,” he said. Despite an aversion to Congress and BJP, Akhilesh refused to comment on Rahul and Varun Gandhi. “We are fighting our elections and if Varun is candidate from Sultanpur, it does not matter,” he said.
At Sultanpur, SP MLA Santosh Pandey welcomed him as the crowd cheered. Taking the mike quickly, Akhilesh said, “Santosh Pandey’s ticket was changed several times. And in the end he won. Our Lok Sabha candidate Shakeel Ahmed’s ticket was also changed. We think it is a good sign. He also will win.”
Hardly 15 kilometers away another meeting is scheduled. Seeing the large number of youths, Akhilesh said, “You all have come to listen me, in the next 10-15 years all of us will be old. Vote for changing your future,” he appealed.
The next stop is Ambedkarnagar. Health minister Ahmed Hasan does not fail to remind Akhilesh of his efforts in organising the rally. “See the clothes hanging on the roofs. It is a weavers locality. I need to do something forthem,” Akhilesh declared before he announced that a separate Bunkar Bazar would be set up for them. “Yes I will do it, it will be like Kisan Bazar where you can sell your products,” he said.
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