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After promising smartphones to the youth and pension to outgoing pradhans if re-elected to power, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has now set his eyes on UP’s urban poor.

Rolling out one poll sop after another, the chief minister, while addressing the launch of the ‘Aasra’ housing scheme for urban poor on Saturday, said the government will add an extra room to each house if the SP comes back to power. At present, the government provides one-room accommodations to beneficiaries under the Aasra scheme. Over 10,000 urban poor have been identified as beneficiaries living in slums, especially those that are minority-dominated.

Among those who were given keys to their home under the government’s Aasra scheme was Maniram, the rickshaw-puller who had in October, pedalled Vijay Shekhar, chief executive of PayTM, to the chief minister’s official residence. Maniram had emerged from 5 Kalidas Marg a few hours later, Rs 6000 richer, with a brand new rickshaw, as well as the promise of an e-rickshaw and a house in Lucknow. On Saturday, Akhilesh delivered on the last of the pending promises to him.

On Saturday, while distributing e-rickshaws, Akhilesh said, “Samajwadi Party wants that there should be no more shelterless poor, at least in the urban parts of the state. We have already started delivering on this. When we return, we will complete our target. We want a UP without people living below the poverty line.”
Referring to chief minister Akhilesh Yadav as a “national treasure”, UP’s urban development minister Mohammed Azam Khan made an oblique reference to the SP’s family feud and said the CM must fight against all odds—even familial disruptions—and move forward. Khan also attacked the BJP and PM Narendra Modi, calling him the ‘badshah’ who has reduced the entire country to being paupers queuing up outside banks with bowls, begging for their own money.

 

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