Opposition cries foul and alleges harassment by Modi as he pushes development agenda in UP

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Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav greets the supporters on the second day of the 'Samajwadi Vijay Yatra', in Raebareli on Saturday. (ANI Photo)

Shivpal Singh Yadav says he has forgotten old disputes with his nephew Akhilesh Yadav and they will contest the elections in an alliance

Our Bureau
New Delhi/Lucknow  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of 22 development projects worth Rs 870 crores in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi on Thursday. Modi laid the foundation stone of ‘Banas Dairy Sankul’ at UP State Industrial Development Authority Food Park, Karkhiyaon, Varanasi. Spread across 30 acres of land, the dairy will be built at a cost of about Rs 475 crores and will have a facility for processing 5 lakh litres of milk per day.

Prime Minister also inaugurated multiple urban development projects in Varanasi. These include six projects of the redevelopment of Old Kashi wards, a parking and surface park at Beniabag, beautification of two ponds, one sewage treatment plant at village Ramna and provisioning of advanced surveillance cameras at 720 locations under Smart City Mission.

Projects in the education sector inaugurated by the Prime Minister include the Union Education Ministry’s Inter-University Centre for Teachers Education, built at a cost of around Rs 107 crore and a Teachers Education Centre at Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, built at a cost of over Rs 7 crore.

In the health sector, a project comprising a Doctors’ hostel, a Nurses hostel and a shelter home amounting to Rs 130 crore, at Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya Cancer Centre was inaugurated by the Prime Minister. To give a fillip to the tourism potential of the holy city, the Prime Minister inaugurated the Phase-1 of Tourism Development project related to Shri Guru Ravidas Ji Temple, Seer Govardhan, Varanasi.

As Modi is showcasing Varanasi as a big development center ahead of UP elections early next year, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav has slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for allegedly tapping the phones of SP leaders adding that “Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath listens to the recordings himself”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath inspecting the key development works, in Kashi on Tuesday. (ANI Photo)

Addressing a press conference, the SP chief claimed, “All our phone calls are being heard. All the calls in our party’s office are being listened to. The Chief Minister himself is listening to some of the recordings in the evening. If you contact us, then know that your call is being listened to by them.” Yadav’s remarks came a day after a string of raids and searches by the Income Tax department at some SP leaders’ offices and residences.

The SP chief further accused the BJP-led government in the state of misusing central agencies to persecute his party leaders ahead of upcoming Assembly polls. “I have said on several occasions that BJP fears defeat. That is why they are using Income Tax Department, ED, CBI to attack SP leaders,” Yadav said.

“Till now, these institutions were being used for the benefit of those in power. For the first time, we are seeing that they are being used to stop SP from coming to power in the state,” he added.

The SP chief further alleged that BJP is using central agencies to create a sense of fear and for threatening people.

Meanwhile, Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohiya) chief Shivpal Singh Yadav on Wednesday he has forgotten old disputes with his nephew and Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Akhilesh Yadav and both parties will contest the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections in an alliance. He further assured that they both have forgotten the old disputes and there will be no controversies on the seat distribution.

In 2016, Akhilesh had shown the Samajwadi Party’s exit door to his uncle Shivpal due to family disputes. Shivpal later formed his own party Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohiya). However, the PSP had failed to win any seat in the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Shivpal Singh said that if the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-SP alliance wins the Assembly polls then the government will be formed under Akhilesh Yadav.

“We both will contest the elections together, and it was a demand of the secular and the Samajwadi people that we should contest the elections together. We will sit together and make a proper strategy for the election. We will form the government together.”

“The elections are near and SP does not fear anyone. We are the strong ones and we will not be suppressed. We are the secular people and we have ‘Lohiyawadi’ and ‘Gandhiwadi’ thoughts. We will fight together.”

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