He is 38 years old. He has completed his B.Tech in Mysore and did his masters in Environmental Engineering in Sydney. Whether it’s an iPad or a laptop or even his Blackberry, he uses it to the hilt to keep himself up-to-date with all the happenings. Akhilesh Yadav, the youngest chief minister in the history of Uttar Pradesh seems like a whiff of fresh air among the highly corrupt and irresponsible politicians the state has seen till date.
Son of Samjawadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh has won the Lok Sabha polls for the Kannauj constituency in Uttar Pradesh three times (2000, 2004, 2009). He took over as the SP’s UP President in 2009. In the same year his wife – Dimple had contested and lost the seat in Ferozabad to Raj Babbar. This turned to be a battle of prestige for SP. And from thereon Akhilesh’s journey to the post of CM began.
For a party whose manifesto rejected computers, English and also discouraged the use of machines, Akhilesh’s election campaign concentrated on changing the entire face of the party itself. From promising free laptops and tablets to school – leaving students to giving more importance to education; from emphasizing on hand picking his team whoever has a cleaner image even if it means keeping a few people unhappy to picking up more educated people, Akhilesh seems to have started on an impressive note. The fact that he is young, dynamic and has a much cleaner image compared to the oldies like Mayawati and others seems to have struck a chord with the public.
But then years of corruption, near lawlessness and ‘Goondaraj’ cannot be removed at the drop of a hat. Neither can one person do all of that at the snap of his fingers. Just after his victory there were many incidents of violence by SP workers across the board. Does Akhilesh have it in him to rein his party workers? SP has always been accused of covertly supporting the SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India) in Azamgarh. Will he bother to change this?
Does Akhilesh have it in him to change the way things work in UP? For a state where corruption starts from the grassroots, does he have the potential to change the thinking of the people? Can he bring investment into a state where corporates are even scared to enter because of the scale of corruption involved? Does he have the guts to hurt a few people so as to take UP to the next level?
At the moment, his rise to the top reminds me of Obama who people assumed would take USA to the heights. But sadly it has plunged to unbelievable depths since then. Will this be the case of Akhilesh or will he soar up above everyone else? The UP voting public has placed faith in him. Can he keep their trust?