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Congress pleases SP, approves special package

Jul 11, 2012 09:32 AM IST Politics Politics

New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday assured the Uttar Pradesh government that most of the demands raised by it as part of the special package for the state would be met.

Several key decisions taken post meeting between UP Chief Secretary Javed Usmani and Principal Secretary in the PMO Pullok Chatterjee on Tuesday included:

- Rs 400 crore extra for organisation of Mahakumbh.

- Rs 1500 crore for rainwater harvesting.

- Rs 9880 crore for dealing with floods and irrigation problems.

- Rs 1100 crore for working on drinking water facilities.

- Rs 600 to 700 crore per annum for five years for building of water pipelines in villages in UP.

- Rs 4000 crore for construction of universities in nine districts.

- Centre to contribute in Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's free laptops scheme as well.

It may be remembered that the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister had recently announced a car bonanza for "poor" MLAs, whereby they could use money from the Constituency Development Fund to buy cars worth up to Rs 20 lakh. A day later though, facing widespread criticism, Akhilesh was forced to cancel the order, not before justifying, however, that the order was meant only for the "poor" MLAs.

CNN-IBN, however, found out that out of Akhilesh's 224 MLAs, as many as 140 were crorepatis, and out of them, nine MLAs had assets worth over Rs 10 crore.

The more important question now is, is this generosity by the Centre an attempt to woo the Samajawadi Party with an eye on the 2014 General Elections?