Against the backdrop of a khap diktats in Uttar Pradesh forbidding women from using mobile phones and restricting their movement,Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today said his government will act against any panchayat which curbs people’s freedom.
“There is no silence from our side. The decisions of khap panchayats should be in the interest of the society. Nobody has the right to put a ban on anyone’s freedom. If a decision is taken which is obstructing anyone’s freedom,we will definitely rise against such a Panchayat,” Yadav said addresing a gathering of FICCI Ladies Association here.
A khap panchayat in UP’s Baghpat district earlier this month issued diktats asking women in Asaara village to cover their heads and forbidding them from using cellphones and going anywhere unescorted.
Taking a jibe at his predecessor Mayawati,Yadav said the GDP will grow only at the rate of 6.2 per cent in the state if it is run by someone who “installs her statues while alive”.
Yadav also put the blame for the incidents of violence in Uttar Pradesh on the previous BSP government saying,”The conditions in which we formed our goverment,we have got many ills in heritage. It will take time to rectify all these.”
Though claiming that no other party had got the kind of majority in Uttar Pradesh like the Samajawadi Party did this time,Yadav admitted that the problems facing the state including problems in distribution and supply of electricity needed to be redressed urgently.
“If we cannot solve the power problem in the state,we will also be dislodged from power after five years,” he said dismissing contentions that development is focused only in his home Saifai during his government.
He said he was demanding from the Centre linkage coal supply for the state power houses and industry. “Our problems will not be solved unless we get coal linkage,” he said.
The Chief Minister,who was accompanied by his wife Dimple Yadav,a first time MP,said that he plans a 10 per cent growth for his state,which has recorded a growth of only 6.2 per cent last year.
Yadav said in his recent meeting with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia,he apprised the plan body of his development plans.
During the hour long interaction there were some lighter moments when the young political couple shared some details of their personal life.
The 39-year-old Chief Minister of the most populous state of the country confessed that he has turned a cartoon buff as everytime he enters his home,he finds his children glued to some cartoon serial on television.
Yadav said,he got into the habit of watching cartoons and named the American CGI animated television series “The Penguins of Madagascar” as one of his favourites.
Alleging that some of the schemes like the one for promoting sugar industry were discontinued during the BSP regime,he said his government will re-start the scheme as the sugar industry does not promote only sugar production but also many other subsidiary industrial activities.
His wife Dimple Yadav also refuted contentions that her party is against passage of the women reservation bill that ensures 33 per cent reservation to them in Parliament and Assemblies.
“SP is not against the bill. We want that the reservation should be party-based. That is the only criteria forward. We are not against women reservation bill,” she said.
Replying to a question on dynastic politics,Akhilesh Yadav said his party gave tickets to many youths who did not hail from any political family and they had won.
The UP Chief Minister also said that farmers on whose land,the development of real estate takes place cannot be ignored and claimed that his government is paying more than the ceiling rate of land to them. He also expressed confidence that solutions of disputes regarding building construction in Greater Noida area will be resolved.
The Chief Minister said his government will start the scheme for providing free school and college education to girls as was done in the previous Samajawadi Party government.
He said an annual allocation of Rs 400 crore will be made towards scholarship to girls passing out of plus 2 while that of Rs 300 crore will be earmarked for girls studying after class ten.
Yadav said his government also has a plan to help them in higher education and launch various other social schemes.
Indicating that he was keen for an image makeover of the party which once opposed computer education,the Chief Minister said,”There was a time when it was said that our party is against computer education. During election campaign we said that we would provide tablets and laptops to girls and if we help them a bit in studies,they will learn everything.”
Yadav said the state government has many plans in education and health.
“We are going to open more medical colleges. We have taken up with the Centre our old demand for a centre of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Uttar Pradesh and the Centre has also agreed,” he said.
Yadav said he has received many important suggestions during his meeting with the Planning Commission Deputy Chairman for the development of the state and he is working on them.
“Even Planning Commission accepted that the state was changing,” he said.