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HindustanTimes Wed,06 Aug 2014
Father's son Akhilesh a man in a hurry
Sunita Aron, Hindustan Times
Pantnagar, March 02, 2012
First Published: 00:09 IST(2/3/2012)
Last Updated: 13:19 IST(5/3/2012)
Samajwadi Party Uttar Pradesh unit president Akhilesh Yadav showing his voter identity card outside poll booth. Agencies Photo

"The exams are over. Let's wait for the results," was Akhilesh Yadav's parting shot to the pilots who had been ferrying him across the state since January 19.

After the ubiquitous group photo, he headed home. The evening's itinerary was simple - watching television and reading magazines.

The Samajwadi Party icon had earned his rest.

Since September, he has covered 9,000 km in his kranti rath, 250 km on cycle, addressed 300 rallies and an equal number of road shows.

A cycle yatra at Bareilly was Thursday's last programme.

The frenzied crowd that followed on tempos and mobbed him on his way to the chopper seemed a good omen for the last day of campaign.

On this adrenalin-filled evening, the hot seat in Lucknow appeared palpably close.

"We have been ahead in all six phases," he said. "A 3% rise in vote percentage will give us the majority."

Rohelkhand, which is going to polls on March 3, can deliver that magic figure.

Akhilesh's metamorphosis is complete. He is a replica of his father, in looks and political behaviour. His speeches sound like those of the younger Mulayam. He has the same confidence, the same power to control crowds. And like Mulayam, he is a man in a hurry.

Asked about the perception that Congress's Rahul Gandhi and RLD's Jayant Chaudhary may have to work alongside him to pull the state on its feet, pat came the reply, "We are heading for a majority and may not need crutches at all."

"People see us as the harbinger of change. Why would they vote for parties who are away from power?" he explained.

Not that he has anything against the two.

"They are well meaning people (but) locked in their own political ideologies," he said. "The priority should be the development of the state."

Akhilesh's mind is already racing ahead to that development.

After a rapid mental math, he concludes there would be enough funds to implement the party's numerous promises - unemployment allowance, laptops, vidya dhan et al.

To people accusing the party of drifting from its policy of "samajwad" he said, "Unlike earlier times, machines today give jobs. We have to find ways to relate technology with agriculture."

After all, samajvad, he added, was all about equality and prosperity.


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