Deflecting the Opposition’s charges that his free smartphone scheme was a poll sop, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today termed it is an effort to bridge the gap between government and people with the help of technology.
The BJP had yesterday moved the Election Commission against Yadav’s announcement of free smart phones for the poor, claiming it violates the Model Code of Conduct. It claimed the scheme was an attempt to “be-fool” people by offering allurements before the elections.
“We are not bribing people through the smartphone scheme. I have heard, they (the Opposition) are going to the Election Commission over it. Some even say we have a slogan ‘We will give you mobile, you give us votes’,”Yadav said at an official function here.
His remarks come days after he announced the Samajwadi Smartphone scheme aimed at helping communication between the government and people, and eliciting direct feedback on government schemes.
Yadav clarified, “The intention is to give as much facilities as possible. The biggest challenge before the government is how to take schemes to masses. Even they want to know what the government is doing for them. We are trying to bridge this gap with the help of smart phone technology.”
An app on the smartphone will provide people information about the state government’s schemes through audio-visual and text.
Registration for smartphones will begin in a month’s time and distribution will start in the latter half of 2017, if the Samajwadi Party wins the elections due early next year.
“Some said laptops (distributed as part of SP’s poll promise in 2012) have not benefited anyone. I am going to hold a function and invite children who were the first to get it. I will ask them how it has benefitted them,”he said.
Yadav laid the foundation stone for six hospitals, the Urdu Darwaza in Saharanpur and Agra Inner Ring Road (Phase-II).
He said his government has tried to connect people and helped all sections of society.
“If we have helped Hindi Sansthan, we have also helped the Urdu Sansthan and the Urdu Akademi. If we made a Haj House, we have also made ‘bhajan sthals’ in Faizabad and Chitrakoot,” he said, adding people must have faith and love for each other.
“Samajwadis have worked for litterateurs of all languages and given them proper respect and honour. There were governments which stopped awards meant for them,” he said without mentioning the previous BSP government.
The chief minister also hinted at bringing a scheme for easing traffic in cities.
On the occasion, Yadav also praised senior minister Azam Khan for starting a school and a university in Rampur.
Incidentally, Payagpur Congress MLA Mukesh Srivastava was also present at the function. Yadav indicated that Mukesh and some other legislators will soon join the Samajwadi Party.