New Delhi: Newly-elected Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Accompanied by senior officials, Akhilesh met Singh for over an hour to discuss his policies and programmes for Uttar Pradesh and the help he needed for implementing his schemes and ideas.
Akhilesh, who was expected to demand funds for the development of the state, denied making any such request to the Prime Minister. "We have not demanded any package for the state. It was a good meeting with the Prime Minister. A host of issues related to Uttar Pradesh including MNREGA, roads, problems related to coal shortage, the Kumbh Mela to be held soon and the Ganga cleaning project were discussed," Yadav told reporters after the meeting.
Yadav said he has demanded the Centre`s help, including sanctioning of requisite funds, to the UP government.
"The Prime Minister has assured us that funds will be sent for all the schemes being implemented in the state," he said.
Addressing reporters, Akhilesh said he had a good, cordial meeting with the Prime Minister and added “Samajwadi Party’s only priority was to ensure Uttar Pradesh marches on the road to progress.”
“Maintaining law and order is a priority in UP and action will be taken against those who violate the law,” Akhilesh said in response to a question.
He also said that people who built statues have been punished by the people of the state, in an apparent reference to former CM Mayawati.
Agriculture, he told the prime minister, was a top priority of the Samajwadi Party (SP) government in the state. He asked for support in the power sector, crucial for growth of the agriculture sector.
The chief minister also told Manmohan Singh that the fund the Planning Commission allocated for development of Bundelkhand and Poorvanchal were inadequate and demanded that they be increased, sources said.
Besides, he sought help for fighting the scourge of Japanese encephalitis in seven eastern districts of Uttar Pradesh. After hearing him out, the prime minister assured of all "possible help" to Uttar Pradesh.
The Chief Minister also apprised the Prime Minister of preparations with regards to the Kumbh Mela to be organised in Allahabad and asked the government to increase its share in infrastructure development for the religious congregation which receives millions from across the world.
Akhilesh Yadav informed Manmohan Singh that his government had undertaken certain "course corrections" and was trying its best to bring back the state on the track of development and fiscal growth.
This was Akhilesh’s first meeting with the Prime Minister. Earlier this month, when the UP CM was in the national capital, he had expressed his willingness to meet Dr Singh, but was denied permission as the latter was busy attending the BRICS summit.
Akhilesh will remain here till April 17 and attend the April 16 internal security meeting on National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).