Here’s what we feel about Akhilesh Yadav’s 100-day old government.
Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state of India, waited with bated breath in March for a change of guard and loads of expectations that the new Chief Minister would usher the state into an era of peace and prosperity. People were actually earnestly looking forward to a progressive thinker to lead the state and who would never indulge in things his predecessors were infamous for.
Wrath, agony, hope, expectations, ecstasy, all awaited the new “caretaker” of the state as the results of the Assembly Elections were being announced. As expected, ‘cycle’ beat the ‘elephant’ in a closely contested electoral battle and the young son of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav took over the Chief Minister’s office in Lucknow. Akhilesh Bhaiyya was crowned the youngest Chief Minister of the state amid much fanfare.
Majority of UP happily received one of its most qualified Chief Ministers in the recen
t times. And obviously, one would certainly expect promises to be translated into reality from someone with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering, Mysore and a Masters in Environmental Engineering from the University of Sydney.
The heavier the profile, higher would be the expectations, isn’t it?
Now, coming back to the point.
Akhilesh Bhaiyya came severely close to his first wrong move by ordering shops and malls in the state to shut down by 7pm a few days back. And he now knows how wrong a solution it was to heal power crisis in the state.
The opposition parties, including Congress, BJP and the rest played critics and his government drew flak for ideating such a bizarre solution. Traders and mall authorities were miserably upset since their business reaches its peak only in the evening hours when shoppers prefer to venture out of their homes.
The intention behind such a move to curtail electricity usage was most definitely good, but it could have been worked out more rationally.
The second misstep he recently took was to pass an order asking his MLAs to purchase cars worth Rs 20 lakhs from their Local Area Development (LAD) funds. And he withdrew the order within a day’s time after receiving intense criticism from the media and the opposition.
The two cases indicate that his government has been taking decisions in haste and without proper consultations with concerned authorities.
“The role of the Opposition in a democracy is important and appropriate suggestions should be accepted. Even the reaction from the media was not good,” is what he said while addressing the press after withdrawing the ‘car bonanza’ offered by him to his MLAs.
Our dear Chief Minister’s actions and statements reflect that he lacks political maturity and there is a dearth of rational thinking in his style of governance, which is based more on the emotional quotient than on solid reasoning.
Probably good sense prevailed, and he realised his mistake and rolled back his ‘car’ decision for which he was appreciated by the opposition leaders, Congress and the BJP.
Tagging his decision as “bowing to Opposition pressure”, BSP MLA Swami Prasad Maurya said, “It is good that the government has rectified its mistake.”
Even Congress leader Akhilesh Pratap Singh heaped praise on Akhilesh for showing “courage to rectify the error”.
But why did he pass such an order in the first place if he had to withdraw the same owing to opposition backlash?
Isn’t his government taking calculative steps in ensuring proper implementation of plans? Why such a lacklustre performance? Isn’t it a sheer comedy of errors?
Thousands of voters, who elected his party to power in this politically crucial state, are watching him and his government’s functioning with expectations that he will end the miseries of their lives and turn Uttar Pradesh into ‘Uttam Pradesh’ one day. He shouldn’t dash their hopes and convert the state instead into a ‘U-turn Pradesh’.
(The views expressed by the author are personal)