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Akhilesh's two years in office: Basic needs answered
Saturday March 15, 2014 1:27 PM, Brij Khandelwal, IANS

As Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav completed two years in office Saturday, questions are being raised over governance and on the promises his Samajwadi Party made in its election manifesto.

When Akhilesh Yadav took over as the youngest chief minister of Uttar Pradesh March 15, 2012, tall promises of speedy development and transparency in governance were made.

But activists and political commentators argue that fundamental questions remain unanswered.

They ask: Has there been progress in introducing transparent and corruption free governance? Has the crime rate come down? Are people, in particular the business community, safe? Do girls feel secure while moving out for studies or jobs? Do investors feel secure to venture into new areas of state?

"Yes Uttar Pradesh does have a government, but where is the governance," asked Socialist Foundation president Ram Kishore in Lucknow.

"Two golden years of opportunity to show what a young politician with dreams and ideals could have done to transform the socio-political landscape of this backward region appear to have been lost," he added.

With the Lok Sabha election around the corner, the Samajwadi Party is faced with a barrage of uncomfortable questions that threaten to reduce its strength.

Kishore argued that the people often compare Yadav's governance with the Aam Admi Party which systematically de-glamourised power during its 49-day stint in Delhi.

"The SP sent 23 (members) to Lok Sabha in 2009. I don't think even 10 will manage to win this time," he added.

"Frankly, there is no socialism, nor any indication of the influence of the mentor Ram Manohar Lohia when you look at the way most of the ministers of the Akhilesh Yadav government function," said former Janata Party leader Vinay Paliwal.

"Extravagance and pomposity are the hallmarks of this government," he added.

He said the government's only achievement has been the record number of transfers and postings.

Referring to the duel between SP legislator Irfan Solanki and doctors in Kanpur that lead to a state-wide strike called by doctors, Paliwal said the ruling party had to bite the dust after the high court ordered wholesale transfers of police officers, much to the chagrin of the party bosses.

He said what is hurting the people most is the dynasty rule or family rule, with the state being run like a private limited company of the Yadav clan.

"If there is one person who has made a mockery of democratic socialism, both by his persona, his dynastic aspirations and his actions, it is undoubtedly (Akhilesh Yadav's father) Mulayam Singh Yadav," said political commentator Paras Nath Choudhary.

"His son's understanding of the political processes is as superficial as face powder and seems to have lost direction and passion," he added.

Choudhary taunted the Samajwadi Party over its failure to become a national party despite being in existence for more than two decades, and compared it to the Aam Aadmi Party which has garnered a pan-India presence in a little over a year of its existance.

(Brij Khandelwal can be contacted at brij.k@ians.in)



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