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Got Rs 50,000 cr projects to Gautam Buddh Nagar since 2014: Mahesh Sharma

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With Gautam Buddh Nagar in Uttar Pradesh going to polls on April 11, BJP’s Mahesh Sharma is a busy man these days, addressing meetings and public outreach programmes round the clock.

“Now one minute for me means 10 votes, and this ratio is only growing bigger,” he said, settling for an early morning interview with PTI even as scores of people thronged his residence to meet him before he left for campaigning.

Sharma, 59, a native of Alwar in Rajasthan, has been living in Noida for 37 years now and finds himself emotionally connected with the people in Gautam Buddh Nagar, which elected him to the Lok Sabha with 5.99 lakh votes in 2014.

He is again contesting from the seat with rivals from the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) alliance and the Congress, among others in the fray for the nearly 23 lakh votes.

“What is it that the people expect from their leader? The first is the candidate’s party and the second is who is leading the party.

“This election is not about an MLA or an MP. This election is about deciding the leadership of the country, Sharma said alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi being a major factor among voters.

Modi is leading the country and the prime minister has taken the pride of India and Indians to new heights and to a stature that was imagined of it by sants and mahapurush”, he said.

Certainly no other leader in India matches Modi in stature and I believe, world over he is among the few leaders who have made an identity for themselves, Sharma said.

Noting that his constituency has 1,186 villages, and around 400 colonies and housing societies, the Union minister for culture boasted of being one of the most approachable MPs.

Sharma is banking for votes on the exemplary development works done in the region in the last five years, including an international airport that is coming up in Jewar.

I think nobody else is as approachable as I am. I meet people till as late as 11-12 in the night and then in the morning again. I have never denied meeting anybody who comes to me.

“The work that I have done for my constituency in last five years, and what my party has done for the nation, are exemplary. I have been successful in getting projects worth Rs 50,000 crore in this region,” he said.

The country’s biggest airport, a Rs 12,000 crore power plant in Khurja, the first power plant in 15 years in UP. An elevated corridor for Rs 650 crore, a wide-network of metro rail which will reach up to Jewar, and also connect Ghaziabad and Faridabad are coming up here, the BJP leader said.

He also listed other projects in Noida and Greater Noida, including India’s first botanical garden post Independence, works at Okhla bird sanctuary, the first museology institute outside Delhi, the country’s first food craft institute and the Deendayal Upadhyay Institute of Archaeology, as achievements.

What is more significant is that we not only laid foundation stone of the projects, but inaugurated them as well, he remarked, adding his government has been quick.

However, he said a lot more is to be done and has plans to address problems related to law and order, road traffic, flat builders and buyers, and fee structure in schools, issues that have plagued the region adjoining Delhi for long.

Development is a process in continuity. Lot of work has been done but a lot more remains to be achieved, he said.

Sharma said farmers’ issues lingering for 40 years are now getting resolved and so are those related to builders and buyers, as he squarely blamed the previous governments for causing distress to the two communities.

These are problems created by the last two governments. We constituted committees and RERA (Real Estate Regulation Authority) and empowered it (to take action), roped in the (state-run construction firm) NBCC to tackle all these problems.

“The guilty builders are either behind bars or being brought to justice, he said.

Sharma said there is a need to have a long-term solution for traffic problems. Private agencies are being roped in to identify the problems and come up with solutions, he said.

People have been demanding restoring of gram panchayats and establishing municipal corporation in cities, claiming approaching officers of Noida, Greater Noida or Yamuna Expressway authorities is not possible for locals.

My constituency has 1,186 villages, around 400 colonies. We make efforts to find solutions to everybody’s problems. Nagar Nigam (municipal corporation) is subject of deep deliberation. It’s not possible to instantly say if I support it or not, he said.

On employment, Sharma said with the law and order situation improving, the airport coming up and 40 corporate firms, which have already got land, set to arrive, one lakh job opportunities will be created in the region.

“These developments will also pave way for foreign investment. We will provide good governance and single-window clearance to enable industries set up business, he said, adding no big industry has come here in last 15 years, but today there is a conducive environment.

There are 13 candidates in the fray this time from Gautam Buddh Nagar, but Sharma is confident that with the work he has done he can ask people for votes.

On one side is the BJP, on the other are the SP and BSP in an alliance. They have robbed this region with open hands, the third is a Congress candidate who has come from Aligarh and has studied in the US.

“When all analysis is done, I think with the work done by my party and me, we are miles ahead of the competition, he added.

The SP-BSP have jointly named Satveer Nagar (37) as candidate and the Congress have fielded Arvind Kumar Singh (30) for the seat.

On if he thought he would win again and if yes would his vote margin increase, a confident and smiling Sharma gestured upwards with both hands (God) to say, Over 5 lakh new voters have joined the electoral role and the number has gone up close to 23 lakh.



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