No more goonda raj? Law and order Akhilesh's top priority
Law and order and weeding out corruption will be among the top priorities of the government which will implement the promises made in the election manifesto of his party, said the new Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Addressing his first press conference after assuming the coveted office as the state's youngest chief minister, he said, ""Law and order is our priority and from today it's our responsibility. Till now we have been levelling allegations on others."
"We will take utmost care to keep corrupt officials out of our scheme of things, as we have a definite agenda to implement in accordance with our election manifesto," he added.
While he continued to lay all emphasis on ensuring implementation of the manifesto in true letter and spirit, he remained somewhat non-committal on the question of setting up a commission to investigate rampant corruption in his predecessor Mayawati's regime.
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With inputs from PTI
Image: UP Governor BL Joshi administers the oath of office to Akhilesh Yadav
Photographs: Sandeep Pal
'Will stop corruption with immediate effect'
When a scribe reminded him of the repeated assertions made both by him and his father about investigations into large-scale corruption allegedly perpetuated by Mayawati, Yadav Jr remarked, "Well we all know that corruption touched new heights during the Mayawati regime and we will take necessary steps to stop that with immediate effect."
He said, "We will also follow up on the action initiated by the state Lokayukta against certain people in the previous government," but parried specific queries in that regard.
When a scribe sought to know how his government proposed to raise resources to purchase laptops promised in the manifesto for young students, Akhilesh claimed, "Well if we can stop the large-scale pilferage of money and kickbacks pocketed away during the previous regime during the implementation of various programs and projects, we can raise sufficient resources to meet the financial requirement towards our election promises."
He said, "We are also happy to find that a lot of the youth was converging at the employment exchanges across the state to get themselves registered in order to entitle themselves for the unemployment allowance promised by us", while adding, "we will surely fulfill that promise too."
Asked to spell out his government's message to the state, the new chief minister said, "I have convened the first meeting of the cabinet this evening and we hope to take certain key decisions which will having major bearing on the future of the state."
'Decision to join government will be Netaji's'
He came out strongly in defence of the induction of tainted independent MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh -- better known as Raja Bhaiya -- in his Cabinet. "You should look into the dates of the cases registered against him; you will find that bulk of the cases were politically motivated to harass him," Akhilesh pointed out.
He however skirted questions relating to ministerial berths being given to a few other persons with criminal antecedents.
Expressing his gratitude to the people of the state for giving his party the mandate to form new government, Akhilesh said, "I am extremely grateful to the people of the state for giving us this huge mandate and I wish to assure them that we will do our every bit to fulfill their expectations."
On a query on the rumours about the SP joining the government at the Centre, he said, it would be decided by Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav).
"We have formed the government in UP...first let things settle," he added.
The new CM also said that the system of Janata Darbar would be restarted soon.
Image: Akhilesh Yadav adjusts microphone for his father Mulayam during a meeting with the newly elected legislators