Lucknow, 7 August: On the lines of Rahul Gandhi’s visits to rural India, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today launched his first visit to rural UP. This comes at a time when his government is embroiled in a controversy over the suspension of a young woman IAS officer – Durga Shakti Nagpal.
Interestingly the Chief Minister landed in the village Raain, which falls under the Bachraawan sub-division of the Raebareli district, 50 km away from the state capital Lucknow. The village, with a population of about 3,000 inhabitants, is relatively backward. Raebareli also happens to be the constituency of the Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi. Akhilesh, accompanied by the UP Chief Secretary Javed Usmani and other officials, arrived in the village at 10 am in the morning and stayed there for over two hours.
A state government spokesman said, “CM today conducted a surprise inspection of the village Raain for gaining first-hand knowledge of the progress of the Ram Manohar Lohia Comprehensive Rural Development Scheme”.
The visit of the Chief Minister to a village in the parliamentary constituency of the Congress President Sonia Gandhi has sparked off speculations in Lucknow’s political circles. The relations between the Congress and Samajwadi Party have hit a new low after the intervention by Sonia Gandhi in the Durga Shakti Nagpal issue; Sonia had written to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to look into the matter, and ensure that the IAS officer is not unfairly treated. It is worth a note that the Congress had faired badly in the 2012 UP Assembly elections, losing four out of the five seats falling under the Raebareli Parliamentary seat to the Samajwadi Party.
Taking a dig at the Congress, Akhilesh Yadav said, “It is indeed surprising that this village of the Raebareli district is so underdeveloped, lacking even the basic amenities, despite having been represented by the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the present Congress President Sonia Gandhi’’.
The Samajwadi Party spokesman and Minister in-charge of Food and Civil Supplies, Rajendra Chowdhary, who had accompanied the CM said, “There is no political motive behind the visit of the CM. It’s the responsibility of the CM to conduct inspection of the schemes being run by the state government for the welfare of the people and overall development of the state”.
Ramlal Akela, the SP MLA from Bachraawan Assembly constituency, said, “CM stopped his security personnel outside the village and toured the area; he met the village folk living in thatched and kachha houses”.
After the inspection of the village, CM also held a Chaupal there and enquired about the implementation of various developmental schemes like Indira Gandhi Rural Housing Scheme, MNREGA, and Kanya Vidya Dhan Yojna among others. The CM also assessed the efficacy of the distribution of food grains and other essential commodities under the Public Distribution System.
“CM also went to the village primary school and tasted the mid-day meal served to the students. He also enquired about the conduct of the village Pradhan Ram Bahadur Yadav, who is also the President of the Samajwadi Party unit in the Bachraawan Assembly constituency. The CM was also interested to know if the villagers were getting the benefits of rural employment and other schemes like the scholarships for SC and OBC students’’, said Akela.
Akhilesh also announced several road projects and the construction of a bridge on the river Sai; the projects would cost over Rs 10 crore and would accelerate the development of the village.
Meanwhile, after the inspection of the village, the CM ordered the suspension of few officers. The officials who faced the axe are Vidyaram Ahirwar, the District Supply Officer in-charge of Raebareli and the Basic Shiksha Adhikari of the district GP Singh.