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Akhilesh, what has happened to you?

Afsar Ahmad

Updated: March 7, 2013, 12:52 PM IST
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In the months of January and February, 2012, Assembly election campaign was at its peak in Uttar Pradesh. SP and BSP were both looking strong contenders. Suddenly, one small thing turned the table. Mulayam Singh's son Akhilesh strongly opposed DP Yadav, a bahubali, from being given a ticket. It was in the air at that time that senior SP leaders wanted to give him the ticket. UP public appreciated this stand of Akhilesh. SP got unexpected support in UP and formed the government. Mulayam realised the people's mandate and his son became the chief minister.

Although Akhilesh began his journey in style but things have gone wrong by every hour. His image has taken a serious beating. Now Akhilesh finds himself in a Catch 22 situation. He can either listen to his seniors or do whatever he feels right. But both will have repercussions.

There are at least four particular incidents that come to one's mind.

First, Nearly an hour after Akhilesh took oath as CM, there was utter pandemonium on stage. Everyone saw this on TV. This was the beginning.

Secondly, Akhilesh, who was ready to dump DP Yadav, included the tainted Raja Bhaiya in his state cabinet. Everyone was surprised to see this. Many people had objections, saying that Raja Bhaiya had several serious criminal cases pending against him. Surprisingly, Akhilesh defended him strongly.

Thirdly, many people were killed in a major stampede at the Allahabad railway station on the Mahakumbh Maha Snan day. Everyone hoped that Akhilesh would come in person and take charge of the relief and rescue operations. But Akhilesh was busy in handling guests at his relative's marriage. Everyone saw him caring for the guests at the marriage but forgetting all about the people of UP. He was the last to reach the site of the accident.

Fourthly, a DSP-level officer was shot dead in Kunda. Fingers were raised at Raja Bhaiya and an associate of his. After a lot of protest, an FIR was lodged against him and his associate. But Akhilesh only reached the victim's family home at Devariya after the entire nation saw the DSP's weeping widow threaten suicide on TV.

These incidents are enough pointers that Akhilesh still needs to learn a lot in politics. Many of us are not ready to give a high score to Rahul Gandhi, saying that he still has a lot to learn in politics. Somewhere, Rahul realises this and announces that he is not interested in becoming the PM. Interestingly, Akhilesh does not seem to have learnt any lesson.

How long will Akhilesh say that he is a greenhorn chief minister? His list of failures is long and increasing by every hour. Crime is on the rise in UP. In Akhilesh's home district, a girl committed suicide after being harassed by some men. The girl's father, a policeman, was unable to do anything about it. Things didn't end here.

Now, the Akhilesh government has started listening to Bukhari, a person who is taken seriously by nobody. He forgets that minority and majority community of UP elected him to power and not Bukhari. Bukhari will not decide what UP wants. On this point too, they fail.

Akhilesh is not being able to fulfil the expectations of the people of UP. Still, there is time for rectification, for taking firm decisions. But the question is that whether this UP lad, who inherited the CM seat, can show some guts and discipline. Or will he continue in the same hip-hop manner?

I want to end on a personal note. In 2000, when I was working in Agra as a reporter, I saw that Neta ji (Mulayam Singh) visited workers and empathised with their sorrow. He shared their joy. Unfortunately, it seems that his son didn't learn much from him.
First Published: March 7, 2013, 12:52 PM IST

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