In the first 15 days of his government,Akhilesh Yadav has begun to look like a Chief Minister who takes decisions in a haste. First,it was the ordinance to amend the Lokayukta Act which the Governor refused to sign. Next came the decision to give unemployment allowance without fixing the criteria. Then,senior officer Mazid Ali was posted as principal secretary (Power) only to be put on wait before he could take charge. Finally,Sanjay Agrawal was posted as principal secretary to Chief Minister,but the order was withdrawn within hours. In all these cases,the government acted first and thought later.
Ironical though it may seem,the regime change has brought a welcome change for BSP MLCs who occupy the opposition benches. So long as their party was in power,they could not meet their own ministers; they had been told that whatever their issues,they should take these up with state BSP president Swami Prasad Maurya. Now they can meet the ministers and take up problems of their constituencies. Also,the SP ministers have no reservations in meeting them. At least in this respect,the BSP MLCs are experiencing a new freedom after their partys exit from power.
Akhilesh Yadav may have expelled several workers of his party for indiscipline and rowdyism,but the message does not seem to have sunk in within SP cadres. State Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi has alleged that a SP MLA and a leader of the Samajwadi Vyapar Mandal led a mob of jewellers who forced their way into the Congress office last week,used abusive language and burnt an effigy of the Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. The incident took place after she had held a meeting with the traders,even conveyed their demands to senior Congress leaders in New Delhi and was trying to get an appointment for them with Rahul Gandhi or Pranab Mukherjee. Joshi now plans to complain to Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav,with photos showing SP leaders leading the mob.
As Urban Development Minister,Azam Khan asked for a list of department officers. Promptly,the list was arranged. The minister went through the list,ticked three names,and told an official in his staff that he wanted to speak to these officers. The official turned to leave,saying he would soon get the officers on phone. But how will you connect me with them? asked the minister. As the official gave a quizzical look,Khan told him that the three names he had ticked were dead. Taken aback,the official apologised profusely for submitting an old list,while Azam had a hearty laugh.
Remember Tejnarain Pandey alias Pawan Pandey,the SP candidate who had to go in for a simple,low-key wedding because of the fear that the Election Commission may add the expenses to his election account? Immediately after the wedding,Pandey and his bride Aditi got busy with campaigning. He defeated BJP veteran Lallu Singh in Ayodhya and his party won a majority. Now,free from any fear of the Election Commission,Pandey has planned a grand reception on April 15. Among the invitees is Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. For me,it is an occasion for double rejoicing. Akhileshji is now CM and will grace the function, said Pandey.