Saifai in Mulayam Singh Yadav's Mainpuri Lok Sabha constituency, could well have seen a record number of air-dash visits by VIPs for a village with just 7,141 residents.
Information accessed through the Right to Information Act has revealed that ministers and senior officials of the Akhilesh government in Uttar Pradesh made dozens of trips to Saifai, making it the most favoured destination for top state government officials in the past two years.
The information, in response to a Right to Information query filed by The Indian Express, was given by the civil aviation department. According to the information, while Akhilesh himself made 46 trips in the state government aircraft to Saifai since taking charge as CM in March 2012, his uncle and PWD minister Shivpal Yadav used government planes for 51 trips to Saifai.
The report says officials made frequent trips to the ancestral village of the chief minister's family too -- the chief secretary made three air trips, the CM's secretary went five times.
Only last week, an IAS officer was suspended for alleged delays in the construction of a swimming pool complex in Saifai.
The Samajwadi Party leadership in UP has also faced flak in recent days for holding the annual song and dance festival of Saifai despite the growing humanitarian crisis in Muzaffarnagar's riot relief camps.
According to the report, "Earlier, a CAG audit report had rendered the expenditure of Rs 48.04 crore on expansion and upgradation of the airstrip at Saifai during the previous Mulayam Singh Yadav government as "injudicious" due to "under-utilisation of the upgraded airstrip".
The Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh, expected to be the most critical state for all political parties for the 2014 general elections, is witnessing considerable internal turmoil in the run-up to 2014 too. While Akhilesh has reportedly been sidelined by the party in the aftermath of the Muzaffarnagar violence and the subsequent mismanagement, with Mulayam Singh Yadav appearing ready to give his prime ministerial ambitions one final shot through a ragtag team of 'Third Front' players, there is now also a buzz that Mulayam may take over as chief minister in the coming months.
A report in The Hindustan Times says Mulayam's recent admissions about the Modi wave may be an indication that he believes his PM-ambitions are far-fetched.
Modi building up support in UP and the introduction of the AAP brand of politics are factors that have emerged as a serious threat to the “identity politics” that has SP has pursued and thrived on in past decades.
“The situation demands that the SP must put its house in order”, a SP leader admitted, according to the report.
The senior Yadav has on several occasions publicly chastised his chief minister son for misgovernance and mishandling of situations.
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Updated Date: Jan 02, 2014 14:02:54 IST