Millennium Post

Akhilesh Yadav showers gifts on Noida

Akhilesh Yadav, 39, may claim to be a tech-savvy new-age politician who distributes laptops to students. But much like his 73-year-old father, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh is a superstitious man.

So on Tuesday, while gifting the satellite cities of Noida and Greater Noida with massive and much-needed infrastructure projects, the chief minister was safely ensconced in his residence at Lucknow.

For years, different leaders of Uttar Pradesh have subscribed to the notion that a trip to Noida and its sister city will have damaging consequences.

Power stations, a hospital, a sewage plant and other projects worth Rs. 15,000 crore prove that Akhilesh recognises the need to develop Noida and Greater Noida, both within easy reach of Delhi, as a corporate hub that can compete with Gurgaon in Haryana. Just as long as he doesn’t have to go there.

In 2001, then Chief Minister Rajnath Singh didn't step onto Noida soil to inaugurate the expressway between Delhi and Noida. Mr Singh did the honours while standing on Delhi's side of the border.

In 2007, the discovery of bones and skulls of children in the village of Nithari in Noida shocked and outraged the country. Mulayam Singh Yadav, as Chief Minister, didn't visit the area because elections were just months away. He lost the election anyway, and was replaced in office by his bete noire Mayawati.

She embraced Noida, constructing a grand memorial park with startlingly large replicas of herself and other leaders of her Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). In 2011, she flagged off India's first Formula One Grand Prix at the Buddha circuit built along the Yamuna Expressway.

Months later, she was defeated in the state election by Akhilesh Yadav.
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