There is no redemption for the criminal-infested Samajwadi Party. Before it returned to power last year. it was hoped that the party would have drawn the right lessons from its previous stint in power.
BSP leader Mayawati had achieved the unprecedented feat in the 2007 UP assembly poll, by winning a clear majority on her own. At that time the charge against the Mulayam Singh Yadav’s party was that it can never provide a modicum of law and order. However, in the election last year, voters in UP had pinned their hopes on Akhilesh Yadav, who promised a break from the lumpen politics practiced under his father and former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav. Unfortunately, the young chief minister has ended up as a puppet in the hands of criminal elements, who had dominated the party under his father. In the last 11 months, lawlessness and other criminal activity has increased manifold. The SP cadres, senior and middle level, have become a law unto themselves. There have been several incidents of communal violence. Also, members of the ruling party have indulged in extortion and other unlawful activities with impunity. Precisely because the young chief minister’s writ does not run in the party, he has had to accommodate a number of shady characters in his government. Even when the media has exposed the skullduggery of the SP leaders, the father and son duo has tried to wink at their criminality. It is very unfortunate that within less than a year of winning a clear majority, the SP government has lost the confidence of the people. The latest atrocity against good sense happened last week in Pratapgarh. The inclusion of the notorious don, Raja Bhaiya in the cabinet had raised eyebrows all around. It was extraordinarily ironical that he was made the in-charge of UP prisons. Given that he had spent a lot of time in prison during the previous five years of the Mayawati government, the idea might have been to set a thief to catch a thief. Levity aside, Raja Bhaiya, was soon transferred to another ministry. However, he was beyond repair. He continued to run his mafia operations with added impunity which comes from being a member of the state government. Last week the don’s henchmen had reportedly killed a well-regarded district police officer, Zia-ul- Haque. The first reaction of the state government was to brazen out the gruesome killing of a serving Dy SP. However, only when the audio visual media focused on the gruesome killing, the state government most reluctantly took note of it. Meanwhile, the widow of the slain police officer showed extreme courage and determination, insisting that she would not allow the burial of her husband unless the CM visited her personally and remitted the inquiry to the CBI. Sensing the popular outrage and considering the fact that the slain officer was a Muslim, the Yadav government conceded the widow’s very reasonable demands. But the credibility of the SP government is so low and the fact that the central government relies on the SP support for its survival, there are valid apprehensions that nothing may come out of the CBI probe.
In the meanwhile the opposition parties in UP have mounted pressure on the SP government. Both Houses of Parliament witnessed uproarious scenes on Tuesday, with the BSP members seeking the dismissal of the Akhilesh Yadav government. The centre seems to be caught between a rock and a hard place. For it cannot afford to displease either of the two main UP parties. For in every crisis in Parliament, either the SP and the BSP, or both of them bail out the minority UPA government. Therefore things are unlikely to change much in UP under the SP government. But having tried both the SP and the BSP alternatively, there could be a boost in the fortunes of the principal opposition party, the BJP.