A year in power, Akhilesh has produced a mixed bag

A year in power, Akhilesh has produced a mixed bag

Despite claims by Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders that it had fulfilled its promises and the state had made progress in all fronts, the Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh has turned out a ‘mix bag’ as it completes its first year in office.

Since voted to power last year, the government has taken measures to woo the industry to the state and has largely stuck to its electoral promise by announcing unemployment allowance and the free laptop schemes to the students.

But failure to maintain law and order has been the govern ment’s biggest and the most glaring failure.

Akhilesh Yadav, who completes one year in office on Friday, seemed meek in containing his errant ministers and indecisive in dealing with corruption.

Reneging on promise

The chief minister also reneged from his promise to set-up a commission to probe acts of corruption under the previous Mayawati regime.

The state government went on a massive shake-up of civil and police administration, with transfers of several bureaucrats.

But instead of purging the system of tainted bureaucrats, the state government had brought many of them to plum positions. On many occasions, it had to hastily rescind transfer orders to save its face.

The reintroduction of “Janata Darbar” which was abandoned during the previous BSP administration, only reflected the large scale failure of the grassroot level functioning as was evident from the piling complaints.

Besides bickering, ministers went on a gaffe spree –offering corruption tips, threatening the scribes, suggesting demolition of the Taj Mahal and dubbing the cops ‘dalals’ (brokers)—causing serious embarrassment to the government. Even sterner warnings from the chief minister went unheeded.

Actions unbecoming of ministers by those given positions in the government have also been a huge let down. While one of them was caught bribing the police to allow cattle smuggling, another was found kidnapping a lensman who shot pictures of an illegal construction.
While speculations of various power centres within the government undermined Akhilesh’s authority, SP chief Mulayam was busy solving one issue after another.

The state’s power situation remains gloomy, while farmers continue to end their lives despite Rs 1650 crore lone waiver. Dues of the sugarcane farmers also remained unpaid.

The spiralling crime across the state, however, remains the biggest problem for the government. Involvement of his ministers in criminal activities continued to plague the government, making Akhilesh’s promise of a “bhay mukta samaj” (a society free from fear) sound hollow.