Akhilesh 'helpless' in taming leaders

The chacha factor seemed to have rendered Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, who had been embarrassed almost regularly by the deeds of his cabinet colleagues, ‘helpless’ in taming the errant ministers.

Almost throughout his six month stint, Akhilesh had to face more embarrassment and flak owing to the deeds of his senior ministers than from any other quarters. Yet he has not been able to act any one of them.

And even when he did act against at least one errant minister and forced him to resign following charges of abduction of an official, he had to face a stiff opposition from his own Samajwadi Party and the no case was registered against the outgoing minister.

Instead, in a bid to assuage the hurt feelings of the outgoing minister of state for revenue and rehabilitation Vinod Singh alias Pandit Singh, a powerful SP leader in Gonda district, the government punished the officials and ordered an inquiry against them.

“Akhilesh appears to be helpless owing mainly to the chacha factor. Almost every minister, barring a few, are much older to him and are senior leaders in the party who are very close to the party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav”, a senior SP leader said.

“Whenever something happens, the erring ministers rush to Mulayam with an explanation.  As astute politicians as Mulayam is, he knows that he will need their service in less than two years for 2014 Lok Sabha polls, to bag a large number of seats in the state. Hence he cannot afford to hurt them,” the leader said.

Akhilesh’s  ‘helplessness’ could be gauged from the fact that he had to visit senior minister Azam Khan at his house to assuage his feelings when the latter had stopped attending office after the government did not accept his recommendation to transfer a senior.

His helplessness was also visible when his uncle and PWD minister Shivpal Singh Yadav, while speaking at a meeting of the PWD officials, openly advocated graft.  Saying they could ‘steal a little if they worked hard’. Akhilesh did not even condemn the remark.

In the recent case of a minister abducting a health official, Akhilesh wanted a tough action but was reportedly prevailed over by the party. Pandit Singh and his supporters had even raised ‘anti-Akhilesh’ slogans.

With the 2014 polls approaching, it seems that the young chief minister may find it even more difficult to tame the ministers.

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