Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday said the country has to decide if the sweetness of sugarcane will grow or the followers of Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah will cause mischief in the state, in a veiled attack on the Samajwadi Party (SP). Adityanath trained his guns at the opposition as he joined the foundation-laying ceremony for the Noida International Airport in the Jewar area of Gautam Buddh Nagar in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He said Uttar Pradesh is moving on the path of development and highlighted various efforts of the government. The BJP leader also thanked the over 7,000 farmers who gave consent for the acquisition of their land for the airport without any controversy.
He said the ceremony was a "much awaited" moment for western Uttar Pradesh and important because this is where farmers had taken forward the initiative to add sweetness in the region with sugarcane cultivation. "Some people had tried to add bitterness in the sugarcane region of Uttar Pradesh with a series of riots. Now the country has to decide if the sweetness of sugarcane will grow or Jinnah's followers will cause mischief," Adityanath said as he addressed the gathering of thousands.
SP leader and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had last month equated Jinnah with Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru, saying all of them helped the country achieve independence. His remark had invited severe criticism from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), among others. Uttar Pradesh is scaling new heights under Modi's leadership, whether it is the public welfare schemes reaching everyone without any discrimination or creating new infrastructure for development or respecting people's faith, Adityanath said.
"The whole perception of Uttar Pradesh has changed that the state can progress and develop," he added. Citing various infrastructure projects worth thousands of crores of rupees in Noida and Greater Noida of Gautam Buddh Nagar, the chief minister said lakhs of job opportunities would be generated in the region in the coming days.
He thanked the prime minister for the "gift" to western Uttar Pradesh in the form of the Noida International Airport. The airport is being developed by Swiss concessionaire Zurich International Airport AG's subsidiary Yamuna International Airport Private Limited (YIAPL). The entire project is planned in a 5,000-hectare area with a cost of around Rs 30,000 crore and billed to be the biggest airport in Asia upon completion.
In the first phase of the project, over 1,300 hectares of land will be developed at a cost of over Rs 10,000 crore and the airport is scheduled to open by September 2024, according to project officials. Gautam Buddh Nagar MP Mahesh Sharma, local MLAs Dhirendra Singh, Pankaj Singh and Tejpal, central as well state ministers were among those who attended the foundation-laying ceremony.