NEW DELHI/JEWAR/LUCKNOW: Prime Minister Modi on Thursday set the ball rolling for Delhi-NCR’s second international airport – at Jewar in Greater Noida – to be ready by October 2024 at a high-octane launch ceremony that also launched BJP’s election campaign in western UP.
While the PM, who laid the foundation stone for the Noida International Airport, lashed out at previous governments for keeping UP in darkness and deprivation, chief minister Yogi Adityanath raked up “ganna (sugarcane)”, “danga (riots)” and “Jinnah” in his speech to target Samajwadi Party and his main election rival Akhilesh Yadav.
Modi, in his speech, reminded the large turnout that the airport was envisioned first by a BJP government – when Rajnath Singh was CM – two decades back but successive governments in Delhi and Lucknow had scuttled the project. Western UP is a crucial battlefield for BJP given its run-in with farmers of the region over the three central farm laws that the PM last week agreed to repeal after a year of sit-in protests by farmers at Delhi’s borders.
“Seventy years after independence, UP has started getting things that it always rightfully deserved. (An) earlier UP government (SP) wrote a letter (to the Centre) that the Noida airport project should be shelved. We could have announced the airport in 2017 but did not do so without making necessary preparations for it, including financial closure. Otherwise, it too would have ended like so many stuck projects with bloated costs that are a legacy of previous governments,” Modi said.
Accusing previous governments of keeping Uttar Pradesh in deprivation and darkness, the PM said some political parties have always kept their self-interest paramount. “The thinking of these people is self-interest, their own development and that of their family,” Modi said.
The PM attributed speedy infrastructure development in UP through a network of expressways, metro and dedicated freight corridors to the “double engine” government of BJP in Delhi and Lucknow. “Previous governments used to keep UP in the dark by making false promises and denying the state its due. Today UP is making an impression on the global stage,” he said.

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