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Akhilesh Yadav pictures on school bags in Gujarat, Samajwadi Party demands inquiry

Agencies: A recent Gujarat government led school enrollment drive ‘Shala Pravesh Utsav’ tossed a surprise at officials after many of the 12,000 bags that were distributed to school children carried former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s image. It also carried a punch line ‘Khub Padhao, Khub Badhao’. The incident took place during an enrollment drive in the tribal village of Sankheda conducted by Chotta Udepur Zilla panchayat officials.

A local official claimed that the bags were supplied by a firm in Surat called Chotala. “We had supplied the Surat firm with Gujarat’s education department stickers to be stuck on the bags. But we found images of Akhilesh Yadav and the UP government slogan beneath them. Just five per cent of the 12,000 bags carry Akhilesh Yadav pictures,” claims a senior the education department official. The official also claimed that the Surat firm may have been supplying similar bags to UP government earlier.

Principal secretary, state education (school) department, Sunaina Tomar, when contacted said that “We will order a formal inquiry into the matter and take necessary action.” Chotta Udepur District primary education officer (DPO), Mahesh Prajapati says, “We have ordered an inquiry into the incident. The bags were bought at the rate of Rs 124 per piece from the Zilla panchayat funds through the e-tendering process.” A senior district official also claimed that the bags are of poor quality and that Surat firm had outsourced the manufacturing of bags to a second firm.

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