Thursday, August 6, 2015

Mulayam publicly chiding Akhilesh shows alarm in SP about growing discontent among people

Mulayam publicly chiding Akhilesh shows alarm in SP about growing discontent among people


© Provided by Firstpost

Lucknow: A day after Samajwadi Party leaders acknowledged that Asaduddin Owaisi posed a threat to their political prospects in Uttar Pradesh, the party president Mulayam Singh Yadav admonished his chief minister son and others in the government for poor performance and complacency towards preparation for oncoming electoral battles.

In a sign that the senior Yadav is feeling shaky over the people's support to his party under the Akhilesh Yadav government, Mulayam not only rebuked Akhilesh for not paying enough attention to what he had been saying, but remarked repeatedly that ministers, legislators and party workers were losing the plot. The occasion was a huge public meeting in Lucknow on Wednesday to pay homage to veteran socialist leader late Janeshwar Mishra, often called as Chhote Lohia (Junior Lohia) by his followers.
The observation, coming despite the Samajwadi Party's massive majority in the State Assembly, reflects the growing unease among the people in general over the government's ways of functioning. When Mulayam hinted that ministers and officers were being influenced by contractors and suppliers, there was a murmur in the gathering, since this issue of politician-contractor nexus has become much talked about in recent years.

Mulayam did not stop at this. Much to the amusement of the gathering and chagrin of the Chief Minister, Mulayam even snubbed Akhilesh when he found that he was talking to someone else during Mulayam's speech.

The SP president went on to say that he had information about senior leaders and ministers busy in their own work, and that they were not going out among the people. The seniors, he said, must go out of their "air-conditioned comfort" and meet the people. Otherwise, the party was certain to face defeat in the coming Panchayat and 2017 Assembly elections, he cautioned. He even recalled the ignominy of the SP's poor performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, saying that it was with difficulty that only five members of the family could make it to the Lok Sabha.

He also took a dig at Akhilesh's penchant for shooting off letters to the Centre on various issues. "It is not enough to write letters and then sit back. One has to pursue the matters with the Centre. Things get done only with a lot of efforts," Mulayam said.

The panchayat elections are scheduled to be held anytime in November or December. On the basis of victory in these elections, several seats in the Legislative Council are also to be filled. It is obvious that the feedback regarding the party's prospects that has been reaching Mulayam is not music to his ears. Notwithstanding the negative reports on the law and order front, the disconnect between the Samajwadi Party leaders and the people is also a matter of concern for Mulayam, since the ministers and senior leaders, according to him, are busy in making deals.

It is not the first time that Mulayam has pulled up his son for so-called laxity in running the government. Regardless of his exhortations that the performance of several ministers was not up to the mark, there has been no major overhaul of the ministry in recent months. In fact, Mulayam's comments over the Akhilesh government's performance had started coming as early as August 2012, when the government was only a few months old. Since then, Mulayam has spared no occasion to send a message across to the people that he is not happy with the government. In fact, on one occasion, he appealed to the people not to punish the party for the lapses of the government.

The situation is obviously music to the ears of opposition parties. The state spokesman of the BJP Vijay Bahadur Pathak said that Mulayam's comments only reflected the ground reality in the state. "Not only law and order, but the implementation of most government schemes is causing immense resentment among the people," he said. Pathak also drew attention to the fact that most government decisions, including appointments and examination results, were being challenged in court. "The government only listens to the court rulings, and it is a reflection of the irregularities in its functioning that its policies are turning out to be flawed," he said.

Congress spokesman Onkar Singh also said that law and order situation was a matter of concern that needed to be addressed on top priority.

However, a senior minister in the Akhilesh government not wishing to be named said "Netaji" (Mulayam) is like a guiding force to the Chief Minister and the party leaders. "Whatever he has said is in the nature of advice that the CM and all of us will follow, but there is no cause of concern," he said.

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