Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday flagged-off the first metro train in Lucknow. But the proud moment was that the train was run by two women pilots.

“We have chosen two women operators to drive the Metro train before the CM and public for the first time. Our women train operators are so confident and excited to drive it that they wished to take lead in the trials. They have undergone rigorous training, both at the Centre of Excellence of LMRC and hands-on training at the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation,” LMRC MD Kumar Keshav told TOI.

The test run of the train took place form Transport Nagar Metro Depot up to Charbagh railway station in Lucknow.

Addressing the gathering, Akhilesh Yadav said that it was an achievement for the SP govt as they finished the project before time.

“Metro was not in our manifesto but we initiated the project. The work for the same has also been started in Ghaziabad, between Greater Nodia and Noida, and also in Kanpur. If we come to power again, we will start work in Varanasi too,” he said.

The trail run evoked a strong criticism from the BSP chief Mayawati who said it was a decision taken in haste.

“It was done in haste to gain cheap popularity and smacks of ‘bachkani zid’ (childish stubbornness) of the chief minister,” she said.

However, the UP CM refuted the allegations and said, “We don’t believe in blame game. We are for development and support every move initiated for it.”