Stage set for ‘Vikas Rath Yatra’ of Akhilesh Yadav

Photo of luxury bus unveiled by Akhilesh Yadav for 'Samajwadi Vikas Rath'.

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today unveiled huge bus van made for purpose of ‘Samajwadi Vikas Rath’ from his official residence in Lucknow.

Beside the background of the ongoing power struggle and widening rift within the ruling Samajwadi Party, the ‘Samajwadi Vikas Rath’ was unveiled from the official residence of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.

Akhilesh is scheduled to kick start his ‘Vikas Rath Yatra’ on November 3 as a mass contact programme before the 2017 Uttar Pradesh polls and propagate the development projects and schemes of his government.

The yatra is likely to be flagged off by party President Mulayam Singh Yadav even as the duo is locked in a stand-off over several issues concerning leadership in the party, government composition and key decisions. The flag off by Mulayam would be a subtle message to the party cadres and the people that the party stood united in the face of crisis.

A luxury bus has been customised as a ‘Rath’ equipped with a hydraulic platform, which could be launched aloft to enable the Chief Minister address public meetings.

The hi-tech bus is predominantly hued in red colour of SP. It comprises a mini CM office, kitchen and a lavatory to allow the occupant officiate from it comfortably.

A life size image of Akhilesh riding a bicycle also adorns its exterior along with the facial images of prominent socialist leaders.

The bus is equipped with Wi-Fi connection, while Akhilesh would also be able to keep track of the latest news on a large TV screen.

Besides, Lucknow is adorned with large sized banners about the ‘Vikas Rath Yatra’ having Akhilesh’s image. However, the picture of Mulayam and Akhilesh’s uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav is missing from the posters, indicating the deep fissure in the party and the first family of UP, the Yadav clan. Earlier, Shivpal had said he would attend the Rath Yatra programme if invited.

In this context, the yatra would be a virtual show of strength by Akhilesh and his supporters, before the silver jubilee celebration of SP on November 5.

The first phase of the Yatra would begin from Lucknow to Kanpur via Unnao. The Chief Minister is likely to suspend his yatra midway to attend the November 5 foundation day programme of the party.