Durga Shakti suspension: What the Akhilesh story has revealed

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Bangalore, Aug 5: It is often said that entry of youth will mark a change for the better in Indian politics for with growing age, politicians tend to represent vested interests. It was hoped that Uttar Pradesh will the first state to see a refreshing change after Akhilesh Yadav took over as its chief minister in 2012, marking a departure from the same old Mulayam or Mayawati arrangement.

The 41-year-old's taking over as the chief executive of the country's most important state (electorally) was expected to be a welcome change in Indian politics. The 2012 assembly elections in the state was also seen to be a battle between two youth leaders, Akhilesh and Rahul Gandhi in which the former handsomely beat the latter to become the youngest chief minister in India.

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But within a year-and-a-half, the myth about youth in politics seems to have been shattered. The foreign-educated chief minister, in his first one year, has mostly failed to implement a smooth administration in his state.

Two incidents in Uttar Pradesh after Akhilesh took over as the chief minister have exposed him as a weak administrator. They are the murder of DSP Zia-ul-Haq and the suspension of Durga Shakti Nagpal. One gets a feeling that the UP chief minister is not really in charge of the administrative affairs, which are more controlled by deep-rooted forces that have run the state for all these years.

According to a section of the former civil servants in the state, Akhilesh Yadav has not succeeded in developing a style of its own and more is playing more of a second-fiddle role to the vested interests. He is yet to come out of the shadow of his father Mulayam, believes many and this has seriously affected the state's day-to-day functioning. Senior SP leaders like Narendra Bhati, Azam Khan and Shivpal Yadav are seen making muscle-flexing statements about the government's vindictive attitude towards Durga Shakti. Is the chief minister timid to take them on?

It is not that all in the SP are happy about the way things are going. The young leaders are not impressed by 'unwarranted' remarks made by the senior SP leaders and are also impatient with the top leader's status quoist attitude whenever there is a suspension of an IAS officer or sectarian clashes on the streets of Lucknow. The bureaucrats, too, are baffled for they feel there are too many power centres in the state giving orders and that too contradictory many a times.

Akhilesh Yadav has just started to take his lessons in politics. It was him who had given the young IAS officer, Nagpal, a prime posting in Noida and now it is him who decided to drop her to keep the compelling political circles happy.

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