Amid World Cup fever, U.P. parties vie to take credit for stadium, target each other 

Fireworks inside the Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, on October 29, 2023 after India’s victory against England.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

During the World Cup match between India and England at the Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Sunday, a political ‘game’ unfolded away from the floodlights as major parties in the State battled for credit over the stadium.

The ‘match’ commenced when Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav claimed that the stadium was built during his government’s tenure. “The SP established a world-class cricket stadium in Lucknow, where today’s World Cup match is being held. We hope that the Uttar Pradesh BJP government also ensures top-notch traffic arrangements, so that players and spectators face no inconvenience,” Yadav stated. Taking a shot at Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Yadav accused him of taking credit for someone else’s work but asserted that the public knows the truth about “who actually completed the construction, symbolized by the bicycle.”

Interestingly, the stadium was originally named Ekana International Cricket Stadium before it was renamed by Adityanath. Before the start of the match, there was a two-kilometer-long traffic jam on the road leading to the venue, leading to questions about the traffic management for this high-profile event.

BSP Joins the Competition

Not to be left behind, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) credited its leader Mayawati for initiating the project. “Parties are lining up to claim credit for the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow today. However, the public knows that in order to promote sports, stadiums were constructed in every district during Behenji’s [Mayawati] government. Remember that the land for this international stadium was also acquired during respected Mayawati’s government. Progress and development are the guiding principles of the BSP, constituting our identity,” wrote Akash Anand, the BSP’s national coordinator, on X (formerly Twitter).

The BJP retaliated by labeling the Opposition parties as “self-obsessed.” “What more can we say? People like Akhilesh Yadav have a tendency to showcase incomplete work through propaganda. If these individuals have accomplished so much, why have voters rejected them in every election since 2014? Look at the margin of their defeat in all the elections; people will not be swayed by these leaders in the 2024 Lok Sabha election,” stated Manish Shukla, U.P. BJP spokesperson.


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