Akhilesh completes 100 days as CM without any major reform in UP
Despite Mulayamís vocal appreciation of his sonís
performance as CM, party maintains low profile
Virendra Nath Bhatt
Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Friday congratulated his chief minister son Akhilesh Yadav on his completion of 100 days in office. “Akhilesh deserves 100 out of 100 marks,” said the proud father. “Though it’s a bit premature to analyse the performance of the Akhilesh Yadav led government, it would be better to examine the performance after completion of six months in office. Since the government has met all the promises made in the election manifesto of the party, I give 100 out of 100 marks to Akhilesh Yadav for his excellent performance,” added the SP supremo. The SP was voted to power after defeating the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in the Assembly elections held earlier this year. Akhilesh took oath as the CM of Uttar Pradesh on held three months earlier and Akhilesh Yadav had taken over as the youngest chief minister of Uttar Pradesh on 15 March.
Claiming all round improvement in governance in UP, during the last three months, SP chief said “The government has been able to establish its grip on the administration and the law and order is under control, corruption is also under check and people no longer talk of extortion by bureaucrats and ministers in transfers and posting of the government officials.”
Although Mulayam congratulated his son, the government chose to ignore the event and not even a formal statement was issued by Akhilesh. “Government is not interested in publicising the 100 days of the regime, we are more interested in delivering to the people,” said Shivpal Yadav, senior minister and uncle of Akhilesh.
“The SP government has already given budgetary sanctions for providing Rs 1000 per month as unemployment allowance to around one million youths in the age between 30 and 40 years besides distributing laptops to students who cleared XII and tablets to those clearing their X. The government has also sanctioned a one time grant of Rs 30,000 to Muslim girls who had passed class X and have promised to construct boundary walls in all the graveyards,” said Shivpal Yadav, adding “the government has no plans to celebrate 100 days of being in office.”
With almost no opposition witnessed during the first 100 days of the reign of the youngest CM ever in UP, the government has focused on the poll promises besides reviving democratic practices abandoned by the previous Mayawati regime. The SP government has also rolled back several populist policies of the previous government, which were aimed at benefiting the Dalits, OBCs and poor sections of the society.
“Senior Yadav may be patting the back of his son Akhilesh Yadav, but he still has miles to go before he proves his acumen as an administrator and send a message to the masses that he is the boss and establish his leadership. The young CM has so far failed to dispel the popular perception in political circles that there are multiple power centres in UP government,” said Ashok Mishra, former state secretary of the Communist Party of India.
Several instances are being cited in political circles which indicate that there is utter confusion in the decision making process at the top level. Soon after taking over as CM, Akhilesh posted Sanjay Agarwal, a senior IAS officer, as his principal secretary. This proposal was shot down by senior Yadav. Anita Singh, secretary to the CM, is said to the only officer in CM’s secretariat who is calling the shots.
Faced with a daunting task to control crime, law and order, Akhilesh convened a meeting on 18 May to review the law and order scene in his state. At the meet, Akhilesh set an ultimatum of 15 days to police officers to improve law and order in the state or face action. Over a month has passed since the meet and there has been no change in overall law and order situation so far. “The 18 May meet was a media event,” said a police official. “Right now our priority is not maintaining law and order but conduct reinvestigation into the criminal cases lodged against the SP leaders during the Mayawati regime,” added he.
After confronting an acute power crisis this summer, the UP government went on fire fighting mode and on 17 June issued an order that demanded the closure of all the markets by 7 pm so as to save electricity. However, the very next day, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Azam Khan denied in UP assembly the issuance of any such order. He said there was no order but merely an advice to the traders to close their shops and in less than 24 hours the order was withdrawn following the protest by outraged traders’ communities. SP leaders were at their wits ends to find as to who issued the order and on whose recommendation the order was withdrawn. “This episode has greatly damaged the image of the CM and also exposed that there were several bosses in the government,” said a minister on conditions of anonymity.
Swami Prasad Maurya, senior BSP and leader of opposition in UP assembly said, “The SP government has a clear mandate from the people so what is preventing the CM from performing? There are many CMs in UP and the government is confused, it neither has any policy nor direction.”
“People of UP had voted for the SP with the hope that it will usher in an era of good governance and end the mess created by the previous Mayawati government, but so far this government has not come out with a clear road map for making a positive difference in the life of the common man of UP,” said LK Bajpai, state president, BJP.
However, so far the main achievement of the SP government after it came to power was restoration of the ‘Janata Darshan’, declaration of the property of the CM and his family members and the ministers besides scaling down the security of the CM and his ministers. The government in its first three months has decided to revive the students’ union in colleges and universities and started preparing the new industrial, IT, agriculture and other policies. Construction of an eight land Agra-Lucknow expressway, BRTS in Lucknow and CCTV cameras at all important places in the state were some of the other projects initiated by the new government.
Virendra Nath Bhatt is a Special Correspondent with Tehelka.