Akhilesh Yadav smiles at the party office in Lucknow. AP/Rajesh Kumar Singh
The game changer in Uttar Pradesh politics scoffs at the ‘dynastic’ tag.
At 38, Akhilesh Yadav carries on his shoulders the hopes of a party and the dreams of a state. He has pulled the Samajwadi Party out of a morass and for the state, he has scripted an elaborate roadmap.
“What dynastic rule?” asked Akhilesh. “We have faced lathis, my uncles have braved bullets. Our path is full of struggle and Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) is against dynastic rule when in power.”
Following the SP’s poor performance in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, Akhilesh was given the responsibility of rejuvenating the party. And he emerged as its master strategist, scripting its new image — progressive, forward-looking and tech-savvy.
Among his key moves, Akhilesh successfully resisted the re-entry of a prominent underworld don into the SP.
He also promoted computer knowledge and education in English — which his father had once opposed fiercely.
While Akhilesh insists that Netaji will be in the hot seat, his father is all smiles. The staunch critic of the Nehru-Gandhi legacy seems sure that his party is finally in safe hands.