Mayawati’s visit leaves Agra disappointed


Agra : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati came and she saw, but there was little of the action people were expecting against government functionaries in the build-up to the visit.

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After much hype and panic in government departments, Mayawati spent around two hours in Agra Wednesday evening to inspect a couple of projects.

“Actually, she came very late when it had already begun to get dark and there was hardly any time to freely interact with people or even party leaders. Even so, she did see a couple of projects and warned some officials,” said Naresh, an activist of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party.

District officials said Mayawati has given a month’s time to sort out pending problems and another visit within two months is imminent.

She landed directly in Ambedkar village in the Etmadpur tehsil, spent 10 minutes to see the community centre and to greet villagers. Then she moved over to a Dalit neighbourhood in Moti Mahal area, opposite the Taj Mahal.

From there she went to the newly developed shoe market complex and rounded up her trip with a visit to the district hospital. One official was suspended after she returned to Lucknow late night.

“People in the city are still wondering what came of her visit, except long traffic jams,” commented angry insurance agent Sudhir Gupta.

“We had a long list of demands and memorandums to present to her but never got an opportunity,” said political activist Arvind Kumar.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activist Premendra Jain said, “This visit was a mere formality. It is clear she is no longer interested in solving the long pending grievances of people. She should have spent some time in the city and interacted with residents.”

A media person had a different explanation.

“It looks like she had been briefed by the district administration to avoid the city because the farmers’ agitation has grown louder and BJP activists are sitting on a protest. They must have sensed trouble here, that is why the visit was short and pointless,” a senior media person explained.

Forced land acquisition for expressways has angered farmers who are in no mood to relent unless compensation rates are significantly revised, according to state Congress leader Sumeet Vibhav.

Agra is already grappling with a severe water crisis. Power supply continues to remain erratic and is also inadequate for rural areas.