Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav is likely to find his mission half accomplished in Uttar Pradesh if he is asked to look back at the three-year tenure of his government.
Almost all the major schemes that he may like to count on as his achievements remain in a nascent stage. They need constant monitoring. In fact, he faces the major challenge of ensuring that all the major development programmes are completed before the state goes to the polls in 2017.
A close scrutiny shows he has battled the odds both on the political and administrative fronts, often attempting to pull together his ministry comprising friends and colleagues of his father and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who misses no opportunity to warn slack ministers.
Yet, the CM can pat himself on the back for coming out of instances of political discomfiture that he and his party have faced in the past three years. His political acumen has been reflected in the matter with which he was able to check the otherwise strong anti-incumbency factor and resurrect the Samajwadi Party in the assembly by-polls after its poor performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
“We are getting positive vibes now. The chief minister has been able to ensure plain sailing for his government in the recent past despite the challenges on political, administrative and economic fronts,” said a senior SP leader.
His observations are not unfounded. A series of populist schemes – distribution of laptops and Kanya Vidya Dhan launched initially to keep the poll promises and rolled back subsequently (in view of financial burden) have been reworked, raising the aspirations of the youth again. Special attention has been paid to give Lucknow the status it deserves as a state capital with considerable progress on the infrastructure development schemes like the Lucknow Metro and Agra-Lucknow Expressway.
Neverthless, Yadav still faces the challenge of dropping those ministers who are facing lokayukta inquiry.
The stint as CM has also witnessed administrative controversies of his government’s own making. For instance, the suspension of the then Noida SDM Durga Shakti Nagpal became a national issue. Ad hocism and frequent reshuffles have been other important factors that have often caused embarrassment to his government. Although attracting investment has been a top priority for the state government, there have been frequent reshuffles in the infrastructure and industrial development department. Ad hocism has also been an area of concern in the appointment of the DGP thereby adding to the major challenge that the state government faces on the law and order front.
“True, there has been some ad hocism in the administration. But this has been because the CM is not bowing to any pressures – he is taking his own decisions,” said a senior officer.