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Akhilesh ko 'gussa' kyon aata hai?

January 11, 2014 12:07 IST

Akhilesh ko 'gussa' kyon aata hai?

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Sharat Pradhan

Is Akhilesh Yadav’s anger a reflection of his inept handling of a crisis or manifestation of frustration on account of his gross incapacity to steer the ship he was entrusted to in a dynastic succession? Sharat Pradhan examines

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has suddenly begun to frown.

And what could be better than making a loud display -- of the so-far invisible trait -- at a specially-convened press conference at the chief minister’s official residence in Lucknow.

His angry outburst against the media for flaying his government’s extravagance in Saifai contrasting with the insensitivity towards Muzaffarnagar riot victims was remindful of a Rahul Gandhi tearing the Samajwadi Party manifesto at an election rally before the 2012 UP state assembly election.

The manner in which he sought to hit media perons below the belt also brought back memories of his predecessor Mayawati, whose intolerance against any criticism was always amply demonstrated before the press corps.

Apparently, the 39-year-old Akhilesh who was anointed by his father Mulayam Singh Yadav to take over the reins of the country’s most populous state, has forgotten that the surge he got in March 2012 was largely on account of his sharply contrasting persona to that of a belligerent Rahul or an inherently arrogant Mayawati.

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Sharat Pradhan

Akhilesh endeared himself to the masses of Uttar Pradesh essentially because of his soft mannerisms, his identification with the man on the street -- which sent the message far and wide that here was a young man all set to shape the rowdy Samajwadi clan into a new mould.

Evidently, Akhilesh rose to power on the strength of his tirade against Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, whose dictatorial and undemocratic ways had earned her enough anger of the masses who voted her out of power at the first opportunity.

Then 38-year-old Akhilesh emerged as a messiah, who would take the state out of the mess created by his predecessor “empress”. He was perceived as an architect of much needed change in the scheme of things in the country’s most populous state.

It was this impression that gave his party a surge of 224 state assembly seats in a 403 member state assembly -- beating all records of the past two decades.

However, 20 months in office have brought only despair to all those who had seen hope in the Sydney-returned environmental engineer to whom the father had handed over his baton.

Akhilesh took off on a sound note, sending a message that he was all set to rid his party of its infamous tag of patronizing the insolent and the lumpen elements, besides promising to usher in a new era of development and progress in the otherwise “bimaru’ state.

Far from fulfilling the aspirations of the people, both Akhilesh and his father -- evidently doing all the backseat driving -- have conveniently chosen to ignore everything. Perhaps unwittingly, they had adopted the ways of their predecessor whom they had condemned and flayed no end.

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Sharat Pradhan

Ironically, today what angers him is exactly what he used to condemn and criticize in his adversaries.

He does not feel outraged when his party’s lumpen elements vandalise the very dais from where he took his oath as chief minister.

He is not perturbed by the arson and ransacking of Allahabad University campus by none other than his own team.

The umpteen incidents of hooliganism by his partymen, including a few cabinet colleagues, also do not bother him.

Likewise, he chooses to remain insensitive to the death of 34 kids in the so-called “relief” camps at Muzaffarnagar.

He maintains a studied silence when his father goes about terming the inmates at the riot relief camps as “conspirators planted by the Congress and BJP.”

He chooses to ride a Rs 4.5 lakh Mercedes Benz bicycle -- to lead a cycle rally in a state where an ordinary bicycle is unaffordable for the man who tills the soil.

He does not get angry when no bidder comes forward to undertake construction of an expressway connecting Lucknow to Agra (via Kannauj, his wife Dimple’s constituency).

He readily takes out Rs 450 crore from the state budget to accomplish his wish.

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Image: Akhilesh on his Rs 4.5 lakh Mercedes Benz bicycle


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Sharat Pradhan

Likewise, it does not agitate him at all that holding the annual cultural extravaganza in Saifai would bring in focus his government’s neglect and apathy towards the Muzaffarnagar victims.

He saw nothing wrong in splurging  a “few crores” out of the tax-payers hard earnings on Bollywood biggies, even flying them over in chartered flights all the way from Mumbai.

Well, all that is meant for providing thrill to members of the official aristocracy and their subjects. After all, his father and party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav had not cared to ever pay a visit to Muzaffarnagar riot victims -- largely Muslims -- on whose vote he hopes to ride on to the country’s top chair.

As many as 34 children had died due to insufficient protection from the biting chill in the poorly maintained relief camps. But neither the father nor the son was angered by the statement of a top bureaucrat, who refuted the official death toll with a smirk -- “no one dies of cold; and if cold were to kill people, then no one would have survived in Siberia.”

Postponement of the event by a few days would not have led the heavens to fall. But when heavens actually fell on him -- in the form of media criticism -- he felt outraged.

Is the anger a reflection of his inept handling of a crisis or manifestation of frustration on account of his gross incapacity to steer the ship he was entrusted to in a dynastic succession? It is time for introspection.




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