Akhilesh gets back-handed pat from opposition for ‘bringing back democracy’ (Uttar Pradesh Newsletter)

Lucknow, March 23 (IANS) Even as he faces flak for failing law and order and slackened development in the state, the Akhilesh Yadav led Uttar Pradesh government has been winning rave reviews from the political spectrum for what is being termed the “return of democracy” in the state. And surprisingly enough, the chief minister has got a

back-handed pat from arch rival and principal opposition, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which has called Yadav ‘Mr Clean’!

The compliments have been coming thick and fast, largely because the political leaders feel that the Samajwadi Party (SP) government was working in stark contrast to the whimsical and anti-democratic functioning of the Mayawati government. The latest example being the budget session of the state assembly, which started February 14 and went on till March 22. This was the longest session of the assembly in the last many years, officials of the Vidhan Sabha secretariat told IANS.

In the just-concluded session, the assembly sat through 23 sessions with the whole year still left. In 2012, the UP aseembly met for 28 sittings, all during the Akhilesh Yadav regime, which was sworn in March 15, 2012. In 2008 the state assembly met 22 times, in 2009, 13 times in 2011, 14 times and 20 times in 2010.
Other than calling long sessions, the floor managers of the SP government have also succeeded in ensuring smooth running of the house, which sat for 151 hours and 18 minutes in which more than 87 members of the legislative assembly partook in the debate on the governor’s address.

In the budget session alone, seven bills were passed. What was more surprising for many was the unusual camaraderie between the treasury and the opposition benches. On the last day of the session, even the leader of opposition and senior BSP leader Swamy Prasad Maurya lauded the chief minister for being “transparent, clean and well meaning”.
The leader of the BJP legislature party, Hukum Singh, also heaped praise on the young chief minister. “He has brought back democratic norms and respect for constitutional authorities” Hukum Singh added.
Senior Congress leader Pramod Tiwari rated Yadav as a “better chief minister than his father Mulayam Singh Yadav” and said Akhilesh had a long way to go in his political innings.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mohd Azam Khan, a senior SP leader, was also lauded by the opposition for the running of the assembly, which was described as “a good thing”.

“The SP has always believe in democratic values and the chief minister has been walking on this path ably,” Prisons Minister Rajendra Chowdhary, the SP spokesma, said. But while the entire opposition appreciated the chief minister and his government on this front, they were vocal in their criticism about law and order in the state and said the soaring crime graph had the potential to undo the goodwill Akhilesh Yadav has generated in the last one year.

(Mohit Dubey can be contacted at [email protected])