Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh`s young chief minister, Akhilesh Yadav, is completing a year in office on Friday.
Son of Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh had promised strong law and order and an end corruption when his party won a record mandate in last year`s election. However, his own partymen and their brazen style of politics became a headache for the young CM during his first year in office.
Akhilesh, 40, may have warned the unruly elements in his party not to take law in their hand and indulge in show-off of muscle power, but the same had little effect with incidents of SP workers, leaders and supporters violating law at regular intervals.
Be it firing by MLAs` supporters during victory processions, a minister running on horseback at a railway platform, another minister being accused of abducting a CMO or a leader enjoying minister`s rank being accused of helping animal smugglers and more recently a controversial minister being named in the murder of a police officer, Yadav has been forced to bear barbs in his first year in office.
About a dozen communal clashes also took place during this period.
Even though the SP government made headway in fulfilling poll promises like distribution of unemployment allowance, laptops, `kanya vidyadhan`, loan waiver of farmers and free irrigation, but the modalities and conditions worked out for these schemes later provided scope to detractors to question its intentions.
Even as the power scenario remained grim and no major investment came through, the government drew solace in the interest shown by investors in meetings and the encouraging response of the World Bank.
The massive arrangements at the Maha Kumbh could have been a feather in the cap of the Yadav government, as these were completed in record time, but for the tragic stampede at the Allahabad railway station.
Departments like medical health and family welfare, PWD and irrigation, which were facing scams like NRHM, construction of parks and memorials in the previous Mayawati government, worked towards overcoming these controversies and setting their priorities right.
Samajwadi Party spokesman and minister for jails Rajendra Chaudhry said there had been qualitative improvement in the state and corruption reined in.
To the charges that there are more than one power centres in the present government, Chaudhary said it was a totally wrong notion.
Leader of Opposition Swami Prasad Maurya said the government had failed on all fronts, especially on the law and order one.
"The government has shown promptness in reversing the good decisions of the previous Mayawati government but when it came to improving the situation in any of the spheres they have failed miserably," he said.
BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak accused Akhilesh government of following Mayawati regime and cited the continuation of the previous excise policy.
"There is a long list of tainted faces in the Samajwadi Party from which it has not been able to get rid of," Pathak alleged, adding that from the swearing-in ceremony itself last year, the unruly behaviour of SP workers had been on display.
UPCC president Nirmal Khatri said the government faced more losses than gains in the first year.
On the front of industrial development and agriculture, ASSOCHAM general secretary DS Rawat said though this government showed an inclination to perform better, but expectations were not fulfilled.
Rawat, however, said the availability of the Chief Minister, ministers and officials in the present regime has become much easier. He termed law and order as the biggest hurdle in giving momentum to the state`s economic development.
(With PTI inputs)