Akhilesh Yadav skips Pravasi Bhartiya Divas celebrations

 Amid controversy surrounding the removal of posters put up by Uttar Pradesh government in Ahmedabad to attract NRIs during Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) celebrations, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today skipped the last day of the high profile event, where he was supposed to attend the state session with NRIs.

PTI| Last Updated: Jan 09, 2015, 21:42 PM IST

Gandhinagar: Amid controversy surrounding the removal of posters put up by Uttar Pradesh government in Ahmedabad to attract NRIs during Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) celebrations, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today skipped the last day of the high profile event, where he was supposed to attend the state session with NRIs.

Commenting on Yadav's absence, UP Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan claimed that the CM couldn't come because of unfavourable climate in Lucknow.

"Our CM wanted to come but due to fog at Lucknow airport, the Air Traffic Control didn't give the permission to fly from the airport this morning," claimed Ranjan.

The UP government had earlier claimed that their information department had put up around 100 "UP Rising" hoardings from the airport to the PBD venue in Gandhinagar which were to stay till January 15.

However, controversy erupted when office bearers of Gujarat unit of Samajwadi Party alleged that BJP-ruled Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has forced the publicity agency to remove these posters ahead of the PBD celebrations, which commenced on January 7.

The issue put both UP and Gujarat at loggerheads ahead of the PBD. Moreover, the Uttar Pradesh government has lodged a protest with the Gujarat government over removal of around 60 'UP Rising' posters and hoardings, describing the move as "illegal".

In his speech to the NRIs at the state session here, Ranjan tried hard to lure NRIs by projecting UP as the most favourable destination for investments.

"Akhileshji is going ahead with a vision. He wants the NRIs to engage with our government. After becoming the CM, he initiated many big ticket projects to boost the infrastructure, such as Metro Rail, Trand Ganga Project, Lucknow-Agra Highway, IT City near Lucknow and many more" said Ranjan.

"For NRIs, we have launched a helpline as well as a website to address their issues. We are also coming up with 'NRI Samman' to felicitate them for their contribution. We are also giving reservation to NRIs in residential plot allotment.

"Going one step ahead of Single Window, we have put up Single Person system. NRIs wanting to invest here can get all the clearances from that designated officer," he added.