In 2011, Akhilesh Yadav started in a rath for the first time and went on to create history after becoming the state’s youngest CM with landslide votes. Five years later, the youth icon is set for yet another journey on ‘Samajwadi Vikas Rath’ from Lucknow to neighbouring district, Unnao with more than 5 lakh people following him! He said, “As this rath will move, it will unite our party workers as well as netas,” Akhilesh told the cheering supporters. “This election will change national politics. It is our time to come back to power.”
The hi-tech rath or bus is predominantly hued in red colour of SP. It comprises of a mini CM office, kitchen and a lavatory to allow the occupant officiate from it comfortably. A life size image of Akhilesh riding a bicycle also adorns its exterior along with the facial images of prominent socialist leaders. The bus is equipped with Wi-Fi connection, while Akhilesh would also be able to keep track of the latest news on a large TV screen.
The Yatra or the journey was flagged off by SP Supremo, Mulayam Singh who also addressed the accompanying crowd in the state capital. The enthusiasm among the youth leaders could be witnessed right since early morning with hordes of young party workers donning red caps and waiting at the venue; the same place where Akhilesh took oath as Chief Minister in 2012. After a minor glitch in the bus, Akhilesh Yadav continued the journey from his official vehicle.
Akhilesh Yadav spoke about multiple major schemes and projects launched in his tenure: the Lucknow-Agra Expressway, Lucknow Metro, emergency services for women safety and health like 108 and 1090, free laptop distribution, etc. After which the sloganeering of ‘Kaam Bolta Hai’, began from the followers of the youth icon who trailed the vehicle till Unnao. ‘Kaam Bolta Hai’ is the election slogan of Samajwadi Party which means that the development done by Akhilesh Yadav speaks for itself and needs no convincing, could be heard ringing in the air.
In a quick interaction with a newspaper, here are two most prominent questions thrown at the leader along with their answers.
What would you rate as your biggest achievements?
This is the fourth time the Samajwadi Party is taking out a rath. Aur yeh vikas se vijay ka rath hai (This is a chariot of development to victory).24 hours, 20 hours and 18 hours of power to cities, towns and villages respectively. Our expressway is India’s longest and I rate that as a big achievement. Our metro will start running by November-end. Samajwadi pensions have been distributed to 55 lakh women; 18 lakh laptops – the biggest such scheme in the world – were distributed; we are running the longest fleet of ambulance. Dial 100 helpline will end criticism over law and order. If the BJP says it will improve power situation, will they give 26 hours since we are already giving 24 hours (laughs)? My work will speak for itself.
As chief minister, do you have any regrets?
Not at all. People who have been CM multiple times have not been able to do as much as we have. Log to mujhe kehte thhe ki trainee mukhyamantri hain (People said I was a trainee CM) (laughs). I say that as a trainee if I have done so much imagine what all I can do now that I have experience.
This was just the beginning! The yatra will not only test the popularity for the State’s youngest-ever CM but also serve as a stage for him to showcase his strength. Akhiles Yadav will resume with the second leg of the yatra from the state capital on 7th November, 2016 and move towards Bundelkhand.
Watch the official video and stay tuned with Social Samajwadi, for more information.