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Some planning to ensure development not a poll issue: Akhilesh

Lucknow: In an apparent dig at the BJP, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today said, “some parties” were planning not to make “development” a poll plank in the 2017 state Assembly election as they had “nothing to claim” on this front.

“I have been told that some parties, which came to power on the development plank, are planning to ensure that it is not an election issue (this time around) as they have nothing to tell the people on this front,” he said at a programme organised to mark Gandhi Jayanti here.

“Suppose, the people of Lucknow ask them (about development), what would they say? They cannot take credit for the metro, expressway, riverfront or the Janeshwar Misra project in the state capital,” said the SP leader.

“They must, therefore, be thinking about some other issue. There is a need for all of us to remain cautious of any such conspiracy,” he said.

Stating that his government had worked for the “all-round” development of Uttar Pradesh in a “balanced” way, Akhilesh claimed that no one could compete on the issue of  development with the Samajwadi Party (SP) government.

Referring to the previous Mayawati government as “patharwali sarkar”, he alleged that the BSP too did nothing else than looting the state. The Mayawati government had faced criticism for constructing a large number of stone memorials with elephants, BSP’s election symbol, many of which had statues of the chief minister.

Maintaining that the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi were still relevant, Akhilesh said if the country earnestly followed the path shown by him, it would have “no competitor”.

“Even though the poor and the Gandhivadis have tried to follow his path, successive governments, even those which came to power invoking him, have not followed it,” he said.

Making a reference to the “hype” over the Army’s surgical strikes on terror launchpads in PoK, he said that even national parties maintained that it was not a new phenomenon and such strikes were conducted earlier as well.