BSP cadres on alert as Mayawati to have quieter birthday


Lucknow : In contrast to the loud celebrations of the previous years, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s 52nd birthday Jan 15 will be decidedly more low key as she hopes to move one step closer to her dream of becoming a pan Indian leader.

Support TwoCircles

Though everyone has been asked to keep it quiet, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) cadres in all the 21 states where the party has an office have been asked to be on standby.

Donations have been invited from party units across the country but the fixing of quotas and collections have been far more discreet than earlier years.

All state and district units of the party have also been asked to hold simple celebrations at their respective levels.

Instructions in this regard were learnt to have been issued Thursday at a closed-door meeting here of party functionaries not only from different parts of Uttar Pradesh but also from the 21 states where the party has set up its units.

Jan 15 will also be the chosen day to kick off the Rs.400 billion, 1,000 km expressway that will go all the way from Ballia in eastern Uttar Pradesh to Noida bordering New Delhi in the west.

The Ganga Expressway has been her most ambitious dream and will virtually build a parallel Grand Trunk Road, made by Afghan ruler Sher Shah Suri 600 years ago.

“The chief minister will lay the first foundation stone of the 1,000 km project in Ballia, the eastern most corner of the state, and then fly straight to Noida for the second foundation stone,” Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh told IANS.

Singh, seen as the brain behind the project, was responsible for mooting the idea during Mayawati’s third stint as chief minister in 2005 when he was the state’s industrial development commissioner.

It would reduce the driving time between Delhi and the eastern corner of Uttar Pradesh by almost half, he claimed. “Since it would be connected through a link highway to Lucknow as well, it would enable people to cover the 500 km distance from the state capital to the national capital in five hours.”

“With international bids expected to be finalised sometime next week, the project would formally take off on Jan 15, the chief minister’s 52nd birthday,” he said.

On her birthday, Mayawati also proposes to announce special poverty alleviation schemes, essentially in view of the starvation deaths in the state’s southern Bundelkhand region.

The announcements would be made at press conferences to be addressed by the chief minister not just in Lucknow but also in New Delhi.