Varanasi: Varanasi, the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has become a venue for tussle between the Centre and the state government, with both vying to claim credit for developmental works done here.
Modi's Parliamentary office in Ravindrapuri, called by many as the 'mini-PMO', and ruling Samajwadi Party's district unit office in Bhelupur, referred to by many as mini-CMO, display eagerness to solve grievances of the public to outshine each other.
Today, when Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma was hearing public grievances at the BJP office, the SP held an annual review meeting of the party, discussing issues including the ongoing tussle between the "mini-PMO and the mini-CMO" here.
The SP meet discussed who is better and effectively solving peoples grievances in the temple town. It also deliberated on ways to spread awareness about the policies of Samajwadi Party among people, sources said.
"It's a matter of prestige for us. It's a tussle between the PM and the CM (Akhilesh Yadav) here and thereby we are fully committed to redress the grievances of people more effectively in Varanasi. We are pursuing people's problems with local officers and are also putting pressure on officials to solve the genuine problems of people at the earliest," SP district president Satish Fauzi, who is in-charge of the party's so-called mini-CMO, told PTI.
"There are hollow promises of PM Modi for the people of Varanasi but CM's promises are genuine and it is also being seen that his (Akhilesh's) promises are getting fulfilled. Our efforts are to water down all claims of PM Modi in his election rallies and the promises mentioned in the manifesto prepared for his constituency during the Loksabha elections," he said.
"With regard to local officials who don't listen to us and our complaints, we surely share our strong disappointment against them with the top SP leadership, and SP chief who is a grounded man and has risen from the grassroot level, understands our problems and also issues instructions accordingly as he is also our party patronage," said Fauzi.
The SP district president said, "we held our annual meeting today to discuss the complaints from people and efforts made by us in solving them and also to further see that all the complaints must be pursued properly and effectively," he said.
However, local BJP leaders here accused PWD minister Surendra Patel of usurping all the credits of Modi's development works worth crores of Rupees in Varanasi.
Speaking for Patel, who was unavailable for comment, SP leader Manoj Rai Dhoopchandi denied all the charges leveled against the PWD minister and said his party was genuinely carrying out development works.
Meanwhile, Congress MLA Ajai Rai claimed that their local district office situated in lahurabir here is helping people round the clock, unlike the PM's parliamentary office, which he said, works as "one of those government offices that opens at 9 AM and shuts down by 5 PM."
With the Prime Minister representing Varanasi in the Parliament, political parties are focusing their attention towards this holy town, where better roads, proper water and electricity supply among others are still public's concern.