LUCKNOW: The trial run of the Uttar Pradesh government’s much publicised Lucknow Metro was flagged off today by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav even as BSP chief Mayawati alleged the project was completed in haste to gain cheap popularity ahead of polls. The function was held at Transport Nagar depot for the trial run up to Charbagh railway station, a distance of 8.5 km. Addressing the gathering, Akhilesh Yadav said it was a challenge to start the project on time, and added that adding that they have “set an example before the country”. “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. Asserting that the ruling Samajwadi Party did not play politics on the issue of development, Akhilesh said his government gave land for establishment of AIIMS in Raebareli and in Gorakhpur as well so that people could avail the best medical facilities. “We don’t believe in blame game. We are for development and support every move initiated for it,” he said. The trial run, however, evoked strong criticism from BSP chief Mayawati, who said it was a decision taken in haste by the ruling SP, “as it knew very well that it would not return to power” in the upcoming UP Assembly elections. “It was done in haste to gain cheap popularity and smacks of ‘bachkani zid’ (childish stubbornness) of the chief minister,” she said.