Completing four years in office, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday claimed that people will again elect his government to power as a return gift based on the development projects that the SP regime has undertaken across the state.
“It is an era of return gift. I request the people to again elect us as return gift so that development journey continues in the state,” Akhilesh said at his residence after inaugurating several power projects.
He claimed that all other parties are “out of network” and he faces no opposition. “Only we are online in development work… the rest of the parties are offline… and some are even out of the network. We are number 1 and not concerned who is behind us… you can check it out,” he said.
Assuring that he would bring ‘achche din’ for the people, Akhilesh said: “Though it is not our slogan, I assure that we will bring achche din for the people.”
Refusing to comment on Congress’ move to rope in political strategist Prashant Kishore for next year’s Assembly polls, Akhilesh said: “Once I took the name of PK film and there was a controversy. Now, there is no need to worry.
Samajwadis are ahead in publicity and today, the programme for completing four years of the SP government is being held at the block level… But I will not disclose my strategy… Our position is much better at the village level.”
The CM also claimed that now, any government which performs, will return to power. “The message in a democracy is that governments which perform are repeated. It has happened in other states,” he said.
Akhilesh hoped his party’s performance will receive support from youths. “We have arranged jobs for them — whether in government or creating employment opportunities in the private sector. In the upcoming election, the average age of voters will be the lowest,” he said.
Considering the “liberal attitude” of his government as his biggest achievement, Akhilesh said: “There is a liberal and democratic government where there is the freedom to speak. We have set an example.”
“In these four years, at no moment, has any task looked difficult to me. I have received support from ministers, officials and the media. We have a balanced approach to development… Whenever there is comparison with Delhi government or the previous BSP regime, we will be ahead,” he said.
Countering the Opposition attack over law and order, Yadav said they can not target the government on development. “It is a misnomer that one should be strict with officials. We can get work done with love and respect and we have done this,” he said.
On the occasion, several schemes, including 24-hour power supply to eight religious places, were inaugurated. The other projects included increasing power supply to various sectors. Power helpline 1912, mobile cash wallet services were also launched and MoUs for purchasing 463 MW of power were signed.
Clean image: Akhilesh has maintained a clean image in these four years and not developed any foes among Opposition parties.
Development: Akhilesh has listed 25 projects as major steps taken by his regime. These include free irrigation, loan waiver, insurance scheme for farmers, Kamdhenu dairy, Lohia villages, Janeshwar Mishra villages, Lohia Awas, Samajwadi Shravan Yatra, laptop distribution, Janeshwar Mishra Park, power supply, Agra-Lucknow expressway, Lucknow Metro Rail, Women Power Line 1090 and heritage arc for tourism among others.
Youthful party: Akhilesh claims to have developed a team of youth leaders in SP. Some senior ministers have been sacked while youth leaders close to him have got prominence in the party. The CM claims he is approachable, modern and tech savvy.
No Pro-Muslim tag: Unlike his father and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who had earned the title of ‘Mulla Mulayam’, Akhilesh has kept such a image at a distance.
Law and Order: Dozens of communal incidents, including Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013, have taken place in the state. Akhilesh considers it as a blot in his career.
Muslims: Akhilesh has failed to keep his core votebank — Muslims — in good humour. Though launching several schemes, he has failed to develop as their leader as was done by Mulayam. Several communal riots in the state also alienated the community.
Infighting in SP: Groupism in SP reached its zenith and Akhilesh did not act harshly, resulting in several groups operating in one area. Leaders developed their own fiefdom and seldom followed high command’s directions. Senior leaders such as Azam Khan and relatives like Shivpal Yadav and Ramgopal Yadav too functioned independently.
Mulayam: The Yadav chieftain has developed an image that he still calls the shots. His utterances against several ministers, MLAs and party leaders had humiliated Akhilesh on several occasions.
Development projects: Many key projects have missed deadlines. In the last four years, most landmark buildings are far from complete. Revising several flagship schemes like laptop distribution, Kanya Vidya Dhan and rollback of unemployment allowance have hampered Akhilesh’s development chart.