Just two days before the model code of conduct came into force following announcement of the nine-phase Lok Sabha poll schedule by the Election Commission, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav laid foundation stones and unveiled projects worth Rs. 1,883 crore covering irrigation, road, housing, urban development, tourism and power sectors.
Voting in 80 parliamentary constituencies of Uttar Pradesh will be held in six phases on April 10th, April 17th, April 24th, April 30th, May 7th and May 12th. The inauguration of a host of projects prior to general elections is clearly an attempt by the ruling Samajwadi Party to woo the state’s voters, but without violating the model code of conduct. The mere announcement of some of the projects will go a long way in countering the claim of opposition parties that the Akhilesh Yadav led government had failed to initiate development in the state.
The model code of conduct prohibits activities such as announcement of new projects and laying of foundation stones that have effect of influencing voters in favor of the party in power.
For the coming general elections, the model code of conduct came into force on March 5th with the announcement of the poll schedule. The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister unveiled the new projects on March 3rd.
The projects which were inaugurated include construction of 1,820 tube wells at a cost of Rs. 307 crore under the Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia new tube wells project, widening and strengthening of 27 roads at a cost of Rs. 980 crore as well as the Tajganj project worth Rs. 108.41 crore and the first phase of inner ring road project in Agra worth Rs. 306.95 crore.
In addition, a number of projects located in Shamsabad were inaugurated. These include construction of a bypass between Sainyan to Etawah at a cost of Rs. 21.12 crore, a sewerage project worth Rs 97.78 crore, a water restructuring project worth Rs. 25.45 crore and setting up of a 132 kVA power sub-station at a cost of Rs. 36.08 crore.
Laying foundation stone for the projects at his residence, the Chief Minister directed the officials present to ensure their completion within stipulated timelines. Chief Secretary Jawed Usmani who was present on the occasion said that the state government was committed to developing new infrastructure and strengthening the existing ones.