Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav on Friday said he decided to visit Gujarat to see its development but has realised that the BJP’s Gujarat model is a “model to deceive people”. The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister cited the Agra-Lucknow expressway and the Lucknow metro to take a dig at the BJP’s “development model” in Gujarat.
Yadav is here to campaign for his party’s candidates, contesting four seats in the assembly elections. “I decided to visit Gujarat to see its development model as BJP leaders here say they are contesting elections on the basis of development. But we have seen from our own eyes that the Gujarat model is a model to deceive people,” he told reporters in Ahmedabad.
He referred to the Agra-Lucknow Expressway, a project undertaken by his government, on which the Indian Air Force recently landed 15 fighter jets. “We have constructed the country’s best road on which a fighter jet can land. We thought Gujarat would have seen a lot of development. Show us a single road constructed here in the last 22 years on which fighter jets can land. Such a road is needed more in a state like Gujarat with its proximity to Pakistan,” Yadav said.
He also criticised the state government over the delay in the metro rail project in Ahmedabad. The SP government, Yadav added, had completed construction of the Lucknow metro rail in two and half years and started work on a metro line from Noida to Greater Noida and extended it till Ghaziabad.
“I had thought I will get to ride the metro train when I visit Ahmedabad,” he added. The SP leader added that his party was supporting the Congress and its allies who are up against the ruling BJP.
Yadav also took aim at the BJP over the issue of “rigged” electronic voting machines (EVMs), saying his party believed that elections should be held using ballot papers.
The BJP only won where EVMs were used in the recent local body elections in Uttar Pradesh, he said. “The Election Commission has accepted that the EVM can be defective… If it can be mended, it can also be tampered with. At many places, you click on a button, and the vote will go to the BJP,” he alleged.
We imitate Western countries in a lot of countries, then why not follow them and go back to ballot paper, Yadav asked.