- Akhilesh Yadav will set off on his Vikas Yatra on Thursday
- Major schemes launched by Akhilesh are highlighted on the bus
- Shivpal Yadav's posters are nowhere to be seen on the bus
Mr Yadav will set off on his Vikas Yatra on Thursday. On Tuesday morning, the rath drove up at his 5 Kalidas Marg office cum official residence in Lucknow and was instantly the cynosure of all eyes.
Mediapersons were told they could see, but not touch the vehicle.
Of what was visible, there is a hydraulic lift that will allow Akhilesh Yadav to be raised and address crowds during road shows and rallies from the bus. It has a CCTV camera, LCD televisions, sofas, a bed. A loudspeaker fitted on the bus played a campaign song about development.
There is no scope for doubt on whose campaign the red bus fronts. There is a big photograph of the chief minister riding a bicycle, his Samajwadi Party's election symbol, towards the front of the bus.
The chief minister has said he is campaigning on his own; his father has said a second term for him should the party win the UP elections is not guaranteed.
The red bus makes the focus of the chief minister's campaign clear. Major schemes launched by the Akhilesh Yadav government are highlighted on the bus' bright red sides, prominent among them the Lucknow Metro, a new government ambulance service, and the ambitious dial-a-cop's-help initiative launched some time ago.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi recently completed a six-week tour of UP, traveling in SUVs or sometimes in a bus.