Lucknow: Akhilesh Yadav’s aggressive campaigning — he addressed 410 public meetings and covered over 30,000 km — may have catapulted the Samajwadi Party (SP) back to power in Uttar Pradesh. But when it comes to running the show in the state, his father and uncle are calling the shots even as the young Chief Minister is reduced to a mute spectator.
Two days ago, when the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) alleged that the UP government was being led by at least three Chief Ministers, including Akhilesh, the comment was dismissed as a case of sour grapes since the Dalit outfit had been dethroned after biting the dust at the hustings.
“Akhilesh is a constitutional Chief Minister, but his father Mulayam Singh Yadav and uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav are taking key decisions of the government without consulting him. In fact, they are the de facto Chief Ministers,” BSP state unit president Swami Prasad Maurya had observed sarcastically.
SP leaders were quick to refute the charge. Party spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said: “It is a democratic set-up and many leaders give suggestions in our government. But the Chief Minister has the last word.”
Mulayam’s remarks on June 26, however, lent weight to the BSP charge.
Many government doctors and engineers were present and they submitted memorandums for transfer and promotion to Mulayam as if he were at the helm of affairs. A similar meeting was convened by the party’s national president on June 23.
The SP supremo had earlier held a series of meetings with the state’s chief secretary and director general of police as well. While Akhilesh was present at some of these meetings, sources revealed that he was a mere bystander.
The fact is that too many cooks may indeed be spoiling the broth in UP, considering that Mulayam’s cousin Shivpal, also doesn’t lose an opportunity to assert his authority. According to government sources, Akhilesh comes to know about most of his uncle’s decisions from newspapers the following day.
The most recent example of Shivpal throwing his weight around was his summarily suspending 60 engineers of the PWD, Rajkiya Nirman Nigam and Irrigation Department on June 26. Protocol demands that the Chief Minister release the suspension orders after consulting the Minister concerned.