His assertiveness saw the Samajwadi Party take some tough decisions prior to the polls, such as stalling the entry of DP Yadav. Now, as the UP chief minister designate, Akhilesh Yadav will have to face a tsunami of public expectations.
Akhilesh, party workers say, has a shrewd mind behind a benign face. But he would need a magic wand to take on the challenges ahead, particularly with the development-starving people wanting him to deliver fast. They want jobs, roads, power and water to begin with.
However, Akhilesh’s challenge would be Cabinet formation and bureaucratic reshuffle. The team he builds will send the first public signal. The immediate challenge, however, is to make party workers to take off their opposition boots in which they have grown holding demonstrations and protests.
Unlike his father, Akhilesh is believed to have no favourites in the bureaucracy. However, Yadav senior is expected to help him in selecting his team.
The generational shift has raised the bar for Akhilesh. People want a sea-change in style of governance. They had endured the scam-tainted BSP government, which did well on the law and order front. People have also suffered from the impact of unstable coalitions earlier.
Prof Badri Narain of Dalit Resource Centre at GB Pant Social Science Institute, Allahabad, said: “The first and foremost priority is to check social violence.” Akhilesh did send a message by removing his hoardings that had appeared overnight soon after his win.
Another challenge would be meeting the populist announcements made during campaign. They include distribution of laptops, tablets, vidya dhan and unemployment allowance. The queues outside employment exchanges have been growing bigger by the day. This would require funds. It’s a long road for the new CM.