Twenty-four hours after Samajwadi Party hooligans vandalised the podium within minutes of the swearing-in ceremony of the Uttar Pradesh chief minister at La Martiniere College ground in Lucknow on Thursday, Akhilesh Yadav ordered action against the culprits.
Evidently, the idea was to send a loud and clear message that the new chief minister would not tolerate any more hooliganism that the SP has been infamous for.
"Ten party activists have been expelled from the party for their involvement in Thursday's vandalism at the venue of the swearing-in ceremony," a senior Samajwadi Party functionary told reporters on Friday evening.
What prompted Akhilesh to initiate action was the criticism of the widely publicised scenes that marred the swearing-in ceremony. People further recalled how Akhilesh had failed to also take any action against similar party men who had resorted to large scale violence at different places across the state shortly after the SP swept the election on March 6.
Taking serious note of the free-for-all that followed the oath-taking ceremony, the chief minister is said to have sought another review of the video clips so as to nail a few more who were allegedly involved in the act of hooliganism.
It may be recalled that no sooner than Akhilesh left the venue after being sworn in by Governor B L Joshi, party activists climbed atop the huge dais, where the table used by the new chief minister for signing the oath, came crashing down as exuberant party men stood over it and danced.
Not only Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, but other VIPs, specially invited to attend the occasion, also had a tough time wading through the mob, which went completely out of control. The chaos that became visible at the very outset of the mega event continued for nearly an hour even after the show.