UP election season: It is raining sops!

Infrastructure projects, construction of roads, riverfront projects, new healthcare facilities, hospitals, pension schemes, freebies to government employees, free treatment to indigent senior citizens, new cancer institutes — it’s raining sops in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.  As India’s politically most crucial state goes to the hustings early next year, it’s a mad, mad race for taking credit as both the central and state governments roll out development projects and welfare schemes. It is no wonder that while CM Akhilesh Yadav is on a binge to announce new projects and cut ribbons of the projects that are under way, many still incomplete, the government at the Centre has unleashed its ministers to “set the tide in its favour” by announcing big-ticket projects in a state which elected a whopping 71 BJP lawmakers in the 2014 LS elections. On behalf of the Samajwadi Party (SP) government, holding the fort is the 43-year-old Chief Minister who has, in a span of 15 days, inaugurated or laid foundation stones of projects worth more than Rs 75,000 crore ($11 billion).


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