A Wasted Year
Akhilesh must make a fresh beginning in UP by ending criminalization of politics.
There seems little cause for cheer as Akhilesh Yadav, UP’s youngest chief minister, completes an year in office. Akhilesh had caught the UP along the path of corruption-free development and progress. At the heart of his election campaign was his pledge to reinvent and modernize the anachronistic Samajwadi Party (SP). A welcome assurance indeed, given that during its earlier sojourn the party had brazenly patronized criminal elements and promoted lawlessness across UP. That promise of reinvented governance had placed the SP in power in the state with a triumphant majority.
But Akhilesh reneged on his promise soon after coming to power. He inducted more than dozen ministers with criminal records into his cabinet, among them the infamous Raja Bhaiya, now under suspicion in the murder of a police officer. Even communal tension in the volatile state escalated with as many as 12 riots taking place in one year along. Besides, the party’s old guard has continued to middle in government’s affairs, stymieing much-needed political changes.
It is incumbent on the chief minister to keep the peace for his own as well as his government’s credibility. Weeding out criminal elements from his party and putting an end to criminalization of politics are essential to recasting SP in a new mould. Only then will it be possible to end the rowdy political culture. All, however, isn’t lost. There’s still sufficient time for Akhilesh to prove his sincerity and administrative mettle by turning up around. The most important challenge now is to clamp down on anti-social elements, even if it means facing down party elders. Akhilesh must immediately restore law and order before UP spins totally out of control.
Just distributing freebies (Laptops Tablets, Kanya Vidya Dhan) you can fool some for some time. These may win you politically, temporally and is not a permanent process of development.
State wide celebration and full page ads in Hindi dailies and National English dailies, spending crores would not change the public perception and existing “Law and Order” situation in the state.