Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was in the dock recently for two of his decisions. The first was the decision to not provide electricity to shopping malls and markets after seven in the evening. The second was the permission he extended to legislators to buy cars from their Local Area Development Funds. These decisions would surely have become focal points of controversy but the Chief Minister reversed both of them within 24 hours. When he went back on his decisions, he was called a weak Chief Minister. He was called weak because he changed his decisions. I think those people who called Akhilesh a weak Chief Minister were bent on mischief. They must have wanted Akhilesh to stick to his decisions so that an adverse atmosphere of criticism could be created against him in the state. But Akhilesh handled the matter sensibly. Akhilesh Yadav’s sensibility can be called a sign of a good politician. A good politician and a good government are that which learn from criticism, and work according to the needs and demands of the people. As soon as his decision of not supplying electricity to malls due to paucity of power in the state was criticised, he withdrew it. The same happened in the case of cars for legislators. This is what a responsive government should have done. He didn’t fall into the trap of people who wanted him to stand by his decisions. I do agree with his understanding.
Akhilesh should show more responsibility now that he is the Chief Minister because people have high expectations from him. And since the expectations are high, the risk of failure is also high. He shouldn’t gamble away his chances which may happen if people think that he takes hasty decisions or his decisions are influenced by others.
Akhilesh Yadav should be cautious and should understand fully the challenges he is facing. He should mull over and zero in on the issues due to which former Chief Minister Mayawati lost support and he and his Samajwadi Party (SP) were brought to power by the people of Uttar Pradesh. But the truth is that more than the SP, people liked Akhilesh’s appearance, his talking style, his innocence and the message of development implicit in his speeches. So we can say that when compared to Mayawati, people preferred the message and promises of Akhilesh. If Akhilesh analyses why he was liked by the people, then he will find a road map for the future. If he follows that road map, then it will be easier for him to avoid making unsound decisions. Akhilesh should show more responsibility now that he is the Chief Minister because people have high expectations from him. And since the expectations are high, the risk of failure is also high. He shouldn’t gamble away his chances which may happen if people think that he takes hasty decisions or his decisions are influenced by others. Whenever a wrong decision is taken the credibility of the government is not harmed as much as that of the leader, be it the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister. Akhilesh too will be judged by the same criteria.
Akhilesh should be more cautious while taking decisions because during the past few years, the process of development has stalled in Uttar Pradesh, and there is a fear that if the process is not speeded up cautiously, the train of development might get derailed. And the train of development gets derailed only when the right policies are not executed properly, especially by the bureaucracy. Corruption plays a great role in stopping the train of development.
This is the opportunity for Akhilesh Yadav to start many new initiatives in Uttar Pradesh. If he makes accountability the corner stone for development and reviews progress every 3 months, using accountability to asses performances, then I think the wheel
s of development in Uttar Pradesh will start to move. It is a welcome move that Akhilesh Yadav is not taking decisions to settle any political scores. It is necessary to develop your perspectives for assessing decisions. A decision that affects the poor and weaker sections of society and doesn’t give power, food and jobs to them is an anti-people decision, and should be avoided. There are high expectations from Akhilesh not only from the people of UP, but the entire nation, especially those who want to see youngsters in politics. Akhilesh’s sensibility, his ability to take decisions, his ability to understand the thinking of people, everything is at stake. And the biggest thing at stake is whether the young Chief Minister can take viable, strong, correct and appropriate decisions in favour of the state’s development. Because, if Akhilesh fails, then apart from affecting his party’s image and in a way betraying the hopes of the people who brought him and his party to power, it will send out a message that power shouldn’t be given in the hands of youngsters. And if he proves to be a good Chief Minister, then it will signify that youngsters are capable of leadership, and the future of the country will be safe in their hands. For Akhilesh, the first preferences should be making drinking water available, construction of roads, development of small-scale industries and planning for marketing of industrial produce. If anyone can make sure that there is no caste conflict in the state, it is Akhilesh Yadav.
When Akhilesh became the Chief Minister, people had expectations that the law and order in the state would be one of the foremost priorities. Till now the Uttar Pradesh government is seen only slowly trying to improve law and order. Akhilesh should make maintaining law and order his personal responsibility, and he should take immediate measures in the areas where law and order is not maintained properly. In governance, the responsibility of ministers, responsibility of bureaucrats, and the responsibility of lower employees working under them should be clearly and specifically fixed. Akhilesh should see that if a wrong decision has been made at higher level, no lower level employee should be punished in order to save the skin of officials at the higher level.
Akhilesh has become the Chief Minister at a very young age, and this can be very dangerous for him, but he can convert this situation into an opportunity also. If Akhilesh proves to be a successful Chief Minister, if he takes everybody along, if he takes decisions which will help the common man, especially the poor and weaker sections of society without any caste bias, then the road to the country’s top position will be open for him. The people of Uttar Pradesh would want Akhilesh as the Chief Minister for another two to three terms, and if he is able to change the face of the state then people would like to see him as the Prime Minister of the country. This may be possible only when he takes precautions for himself, charts his own road map and follows it. He should also set some standards for himself and plan how much work should be done in the next 3 months, and how much progress is to be made in another 3 months. If Akhilesh Yadav thinks that for the first 4 years he will be guided by the minds of his colleagues, and would make his own decisions only in the fifth year, then retaining power and control in that fifth year – which will be an election year — would be very difficult for him. His decisions till now indicate that Akhilesh is taking the hopes and aspirations of the people into consideration. And if Akhilesh remains firm upon this thinking then we would surely get a Chief Minister for Uttar Pradesh who will establish new benchmarks for comprehensive development in the state.