Once again a chequer board has started to be decorated for the 2014 elections in Uttar Pradesh. However, approximately one and a half year is still left for the Lok Sabha election but the way in which the politics of the Centre is taking turns every now and then, the possibility cannot be ignored that the bugle for the General Elections could make its sound at any moment. This very fear has blown away the sleep from the eyes of many leaders of different parties. On the one hand, the present Members of Parliament have become more accessible and friendly to save their own seats and on the other hand the people who are dreaming of capturing a seat in Parliament are making necessary efforts to win and are feeling the pulse of the public. From small to big leaders, all of them are worried that what colour the chameleon of politics will take on this time around. The fight is for the seats of Delhi and so ways are being found from different States to somehow reach the capital by securing a win. In the capital of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow, a higher degree of alertness and agility is being seen these days. There are at least three such leaders in the State who are seen as major contenders or are dreaming of getting the post of the Prime Minister in 2014.
The name which comes out at the top is that of the General Secretary of the Congress, Rahul Gandhi, but in the political calculations of the other aspirants, Samajwadi Party (SP) head Mulayam Singh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati, anything might happen, and this point of view has become the basis of hope for them. Among the 4 big political parties in the State, no leader for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is seen to be the major contender for the post of the Prime Minister. The political strategies of the Congress and the BJP are being made from Delhi for the Lok Sabha election but Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati are trying to find their roots in Uttar Pradesh itself. The leaders are trying to find out important topics to take before the public. On the one hand, the leaders, to show themselves to be clean, are trying to disclose the black chits of the Opposition, while confusing the public on the other hand. All possible efforts are being made by the leaders of the BSP and the SP for getting the winning flag in the coming election. But the most important facet is that both these parties are going to fight the election on the same basis which made the SP lose the Legislative Assembly Elections in 2007 and made the BSP lose the Legislative Assembly elections in 2012. Even after losing the Legislative Assembly Elections very badly the BSP will still fight the General Elections keeping the same strategy of ‘Sarvajan Hitay, Sarvajan Sukhay.’ On the other hand the SP, like in 2007, is hoping for a win by opening the Government ‘safe’ for the public. The SP, like in its previous tenure in power, are hopeful of a win by floating the policies of waiving debts of farmers, Kanya Vidhyadhan and unemployment allowance, but they might have forgotten that these policies came under a lot of pressure from the bullying rule of the ruling SP at that time. The BSP made a mockery of the bullying rule of the BSP. The slogan of the BSP, ‘Chad Goondo Ki Chhati Par, Mohar Lagao Haathi Par’ (stand on the chests of ‘goondas’ and put your stamp on the elephant) became so effective that Mulayam Singh Yadav lost the battle from all corners. The elephant incidentally is the BSP election symbol. The BSP formed a Government by an absolute majority for the first time.
A lot of trouble is being created from all corners for the young Chief Minister. The shard of being unsuccessful also comes to him, but the actual decisions are of somebody else. Not just one of his Ministers, but all his Ministers and mainly the bureaucrats seated at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat are the main reason for this trouble. It is because of this pressure that the Chief Minister has put some of the corrupt bureaucrats in lucrative posts whereas their actual positions should be on the sidelines of the jails if not inside it.
It was a different aspect that the magic of Mayawati also faded because of her corruption and dissonance with the public. Once the public lost their faith in the BSP, the SP was again very impatient to become the other alternative in the State. If Mulayam is given another chance then there is a possibility of the bullying rule of the SP coming back into existence — that was made as a point of harassment by the BSP. Akhilesh Yadav had stated in almost all his meetings that if their party gets the opportunity to come back into power once again then nobody will be allowed to play with law and order in the State. Akhilesh was a youth then, the people had not tested him, so the public believed his words, but this belief did not take a long time to be belied once Akhilesh took over the seat of power. On the one hand, there was a flood of different crimes including women molestation, rape, looting and murders and on the other the State came under the brunt of riots. Not only were SP politicians seen behaving in an unbecoming manner as leaders but they were also seen behaving in an unbecoming manner as Ministers as well. The incident of abduction of the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in Gonda had not even died down than the oil mafias, by trying to set the District Supply Officer (DSO) on fire alive made a statement that the confidence of those who believed in stoking chaotic factors was very high. On this, the Deputy General of Police (DGP) put the DSO under a scanner and asked why he went alone for a raid without taking the police force along with him. The bullying of the domineering leaders and Ministers of the Government is not only prevalent in the territory but it is also prevalent beneath the eyes of the Government in the capital of Lucknow. After getting the position of a State Minister, the Khadi and Village Board Vice President, Natwar Goyal became so greedy to acquire land that he even broke a school and converted it into a business complex to script the story of his kingdom. But for interference from the media, these plans would have become successful. When the media started to pin point the involvement of Natwar Goyal, then he with the help of his operatives bashed up the press photographer. After this the incident got worse and both his post and the membership of the SP was snatched away from him — only then his senses came to the right path. The police did not delay in putting him behind bars. By looking at the calumny of the Government and the activities of the SP leaders which are going beyond control, such a situation has come that even the leaders of the SP have started to ignore the words of Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Taking advantage of the inexperience of the Government the bureaucrats are doing their work licentiously. During the BSP rule, the bureaucrats because of whom Mayawati had to face a lot of trouble, have made a strong grouping and strengthened their roots under the SP rule. Right from the leaders to the bureaucrats, all are engaged in showing each other down. On one hand the Inspector gives the
Superintendent of Police the impression of being a close ally of the SP while on the other hand the path of the Chief Secretary of state is blocked by obstacles from those close to him.
The situation has become so serious that even Akhilesh in some instances feels very uncomfortable himself. As a result of such situations, Akhilesh is sometimes has to take a U-turn in his decisions. The pressure of politics has dulled the glow of the Akhilesh Government. Sometimes it always gives an impression that Akhilesh is used as a microphone to speak the words of some of the leaders, who indulge in worthless politics and of some of the close associates of Mulayam Singh Yadav. An example of this was seen in the ‘Lohia Nirvan Divas’ held at Lucknow. The programme was organised in Lohia Park. Apart from Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, SP head Mulayam Singh Yadav and other senior leaders and Ministers were seated on the stage. Out of those SP members, a senior journalist who was also seated along with them had become the reason of enthusiasm for all. On this very day of Lohia Nirvan Divas commemorating Dr. Rammanohar Lohia, President Pranab Mukherejee was also supposed to reach Lucknow on a two day trip. The time of arrival of the President had come and according to protocol the Chief Minister was supposed to be present at the airport. The Chief Minister was the first to give a speech. He was in a hurry to receive the President. While Akhilesh Yadav was making his speech the senior journalist was busy whispering to Mulayam Singh Yadav. In the meantime, he also handed over a piece of paper to Mulayam Singh Yadav. Unaware of all this, Akhilesh finished his speech, and when he started to walk away he was handed over the same page by the senior journalist which was in the hands of Mulayam Singh Yadav. What was written on that paper was not known by anyone but by looking at the emotions of Akhilesh Yadav it could be sensed that he was not happy with it. He insisted on making an announcement later but to no avail. Akhilesh had to take the mike again and announce that fees for the licenses of the rickshaw drivers would be 1 rupee. There was clapping all around with this announcement. Akhilesh again started to make a move but he was stopped again. This time it was verbally communicated to him to announce that the ‘Kanya Vidyadhan Yojana’ had been renamed the ‘Kasturba Gandhi Kanya Vidyadhan Yojana.’ There were claps again but what was the relation of the SP with Kasturba Gandhi was not understood by anybody. When the Chief Minister was put under so much of pressure on a stage in front of everybody, then the picture behind the scenes must be more fearful.
A lot of trouble is being created from all corners for the young Chief Minister. The shard of being unsuccessful also comes to him, but the actual decisions are of somebody else. Not just one of his Ministers, but all his Ministers and mainly the bureaucrats seated at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat are the main reason for this trouble. It is because of this pressure that the Chief Minister has put some of the corrupt bureaucrats in lucrative posts whereas their actual positions should be on the sidelines of the jails if not inside it. All this is happening at such a juncture when even the High Court is not happy with the appointment of bureaucrats to such lucrative posts. It was the result of this pressure that Akhilesh Yadav could not even appoint a Chief Secretary of his own choice. It is said that the choice of Akhilesh Yadav was ignored and Mulayam Singh, to lure the Muslims, called upon Javed Usmani from Delhi and appointed him as the Chief Secretary of the State. It is another subject that the image of the 1998 batch IAS officer Javed Usmani is clean and fair. His decisions are made without any pressure. It is another facet that lobbying is also being done against him. Whenever he goes for treatment, discussions start about his departure and if he takes leave then speculation starts to build up. If Javed Usmani is still holding his place, then it is all because of his closeness with Mulayam Singh Yadav. When Mulayam Singh Yadav became the Chief Minister for the second time then he had been his Secretary. However people who keep on filling the ears of Mulayam Singh Yadav against Javed Usmani are not sitting idle.
Akhilesh had even made an announcement of making the 1984 batch IAS officer, Sanjay Agarwal, as his Chief Secretary, but within a few hours of his announcement he had to change his decision. In his place the post was taken over by the 1980 batch IAS officer, Rakesh Garg, who is still holding the position. It is said that ignoring Sanjay Agarwal had to be done due to an official who was posted at the IAS Secretary level at the State Secretariat who was also known to be very powerful during the last Mulayam Singh Yadav Government.
Recently, when Akhilesh Yadav wanted to speak to the Superintendent of Police of Mathura, N. R. Padmaja, her mobile was switched off. She was sent a message for which a reply came that when Maam would be free, she would give a call back. On this a staff member of the Chief Minister gave a call to the District Magistrate and said that the Chief Minister wants to speak to the Superintendent of Police. Then after half an hour the discussion was possible. If this incident would have happened during the Mayawati rule, then it can be guessed what the situation of the Superintendent would have been made. This incident gives information on the grip of the SP on the credibility of the rule. The way in which the bureaucrats are taking advantage of the SP government due to its inexperience, it gives a strong feeling that the officials of Akhilesh will become an obstacle in Mission 2014. Thus, their dream of winning 60 seats with the help of these officials might not be as fruitful as expected.