Akhilesh refuses to share platform with Rahul Gandhi
By Subhash Mishra | Published: 08th October 2013 06:00 AM |
UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Singh has refused to share the dais with Congress deputy chief Rahul Gandhi at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the country’s biggest food park in Amethi, which is also the latter’s home constituency.
Although it would have been a golden chance for accelerating UP’s economic development, the inability to get the two young leaders to make a joint public appearance meant that it turned out to be a case of what might have been.
The Aditya Birla Group, which is the main promoter of the mega project that will revolutionise the region’s food processing and agriculture sectors, had invited the UP Chief Minister to attend the function which had Rahul as the chief guest.
And even though Akhilesh was very much in town, he decided to keep off the function, which was attended by Birla Group chairman Kumaramangalam Birla and Union Minister of State for Food Processing Charan Das Mahant, sources told Express.
Akhilesh’s decision to stay away may have been prompted by the fact that since Rahul is scheduled to address public meetings in the Muslim dominated Aligarh and Rampur districts on Wednesday, he could have assailed the state government over its failure to tackle the recent communal riots that ravaged Western UP.
Rahul, who laid the foundation stone for the project, hailed the Birlas for setting up the food processing unit which would benefit thousands of farmers and horticulturists of the region and also bring an end to the illegal practice of hoarding and selling the perishable products in the black market that duped the farmers as well as consumers.
The sprawling Shaktiman Food Park, which is spread over 72 acres, will also provide basic infrastructure like warehouses and cold chain. Besides, it will host a business centre for the farmers.
Separately, Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi will lay the foundation stone for the country’s biggest wheel manufacturing factory at Lalganj in her home constituency in neighbouring Rae Bareli.
The project which is jointly promoted by the Railways and the Rashtriya Ispaat Nirman Nigam entails an investment of `1,100 crore and will be completed in the next three years and it will provide jobs to nearly 600 persons directly.
And the Congress’ top two are wooing the electorate in their respective constituencies to ensure the party’s success in the politically crucial state in the 2014 LS polls.