Lucknow: The day Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to lay for the foundation of the Rs 23,349 crore Purvanchal Expressway in Azamgarh, the ruling BJP and the principle opposition Samajwadi Party are on verbal dual over the credit for this country's longest 340 kms long expressway on Saturday.
SP already held a protest in Azamgarh on July 12 over the PM's programme to lay the foundation of the Expressway.Both the BJP and the SP seemed to be trying to take credit for the project keeping the 2019 general elections in mind and are on war of words against each others over the expressway.
While Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav during a press meet on Saturday taunted Prime Minister Narendra Modi of laying the foundation stone of the expressway second time after he did it on December 22, 2016.
" We had laid the foundation of Samajwadi Purvanchal expressway but this government removed the word Samajwadi as they don't like it. But function to lay the foundation of the expressway second time that too by the PM is very unfortunate but it seems that BJP has nothing to show to the people so they are trying to take the credit of our works," he said.
The former UP CM too alleged that the crime has deteriorated in the state during the BJP regime and now law is going on one way and order in another." When criminals are being killed inside the jail, it is the glaring example of how the law and order is working in the state," he further alleged.
SP president Akhilesh Yadav countered the low tender rates of the BJP government saying several ammenties and other things which were included in the SP regime tender has been cancelled just to prove that they have saved the money which in order words can be termed as compromising with the security and safety of the passengers on the expressway.
However, the BJP denied the charges and state deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma, holding a parallel press meet at the same time, alleged that when the foundation stone was laid, there was only 32 per cent of land acquired for the expressway against the norm of 90 per cent besides no permission nor budgetary funds were approved for the highway.
" The foundation was laid by the SP government just to take electoral mileage just before the 2017 assembly polls. But as people knew their move, the SP government was rejected by the people and BJP was given landslide support," Dr Sharma said.
Though asking the SP to follow the theory of ' Na Teri hai, Na Meri, Yeh Janata ki Expressway hai"( Nor it is mine or yours, this expressway is of the people), he said that SP leaders have stooped to its low to gain political mileage on the Purvanchal expressway.
The Deputy CM further claimed that Samajwadi Party government gave the tender of Rs 15,158 crores for the expressway but the BJP government saved around Rs 4000 crores by approving tender worth Rs 11,216 crores.
He also said that like the Purvanchal expressway, the SP government had inaugurated the Lucknow- Agra expressway without any amenities just to showcase their work during the assembly polls." Later the BJP government allotted funds for these amenities and now the Expressway was working smoothly," he stated.
Former UP DGP and presently chairman of the UP State Schedule Caste Commission Brijlal , who was present to defend the government on the law and order issue, claimed that the crime rate has gone down during the BJP regime and alleged that it was the SP which had promoted criminals during their tenure.
Though refusing to make any comment on the BSP's regime between 2001-12, when he was the DGP in the later stages, Brijlal also said that the government was serious on the crime inside the jails and said that several security measures have been made to tame the criminals.
" Till date 62 criminals have been killed in police encounters and property worth Rs 177.56 crores of the absconding criminals have been confiscated," he disclosed.
The six-lane expressway, which can be expanded to eight lanes, will provide a smooth ride between Lucknow and Ghazipur in eastern UP connecting the state capital Lucknow with economically less developed districts like Azamgarh, Mau, Ghazipur, Faizabad, Sultanpur, Ambedkar Nagar and Amethi. The Expressway is likely to be constructed within 36 months time.(UNI)