If Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s presence in Gurugram, Haryana, on Tuesday brought the city to a standstill and several MNCs declared the day off, Uttar Prdesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s ‘Vikas Rath Yatra’ is set to create similar chaos on Thursday.
Akhilesh is set to embark on the yatra atop a modified Mercedes bus from Lucknow.
All schools in the state capital and Unnao have been shut owing to the “VVIP movement”, which is all set to bring the state capital and the Lucknow-Kanpur highway to a grinding halt.
Elaborate arrangements are in place on the routes that the Chief Minister’s Rath will roll on. The yatra is being seen as his first show of strength after the turf war with his father Mulayam Singh Yadav and uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav. The District Inspector of Schools (DIOS) of Lucknow has asked all schools to remain shut in view of the traffic diversions in the state capital, as the convoy of the Chief Minister criss-crosses the city and other nearby places.
“We have been told to declare it a holiday as children might get stuck in long traffic snarl-ups,” a school principal told IANS ruing the development, as the schools opened only on Wednesday after a four-day-long Diwali break.
Close aides of the Chief Minister, however, brush aside the criticism, saying in the “poll season” all this is bound to happen.
Traffic police have been put on standby to handle the large volumes of traffic on Thursday, as thousands of vehicles are likely to join the 43-year-old Chief Minister during his ‘Vikas Se Vijay ki Ore’ (from development to victory) yatra.
Moreover, since the yatra is happening amid a power struggle between Mulayam-Shivpal on one side and Akhilesh and the young leaders on the other, a major show of strength is lately on the cards, leading to huge chaos.
“We expect more than 20,000 small and big vehicles to tail the Rath of our dear Bhaiyya ji (as Akhilesh is fondly called by his supporters) and the convoy could be more than 35-km long,” said his enthusiastic supporters.