M A I N   N E W S

UP set to get youngest CM
Mulayam heir Akhilesh Yadav, 38, to take over reins on March 15; says priority law & order
Shahira Naim/TNS

Lucknow, March 10
Decks were cleared today for the youngest Chief Minister of the most populous state to take oath of office on Thursday (March 15). Akhilesh Yadav (38), who scripted Samajwadi party’s spectacular electoral victory in Uttar Pradesh, was today unanimously elected the leader of the SP Legislature Party.

There were two explanations offered for fixing March 15 as the day for the swearing-in ceremony. While one was that it was an auspicious day according to the Hindu calendar, the other explanation was that the date was fixed to get saturation media coverage by positioning the event between the rail budget on March 14 and general budget on March 15.

A large and unruly crowd outside the venue of the meeting this morning, underscored the challenges facing the young leader. Although the CM designate vowed to crack down on unruly elements within the party, the large posse of policemen were passive onlookers even when indiscriminate use of celebratory crackers caused a stampede.

While the official stamp was a mere formality, Samajwadi party national president Mulayam Singh Yadav was keen to make it appear like the collective decision of the newly elected SP’s legislative party.

According to sources the senior Yadav used the two intervening days to settle misgivings in a section of the party, which was somewhat reluctant to work under a leader so young.

Mulayum Singh Yadav?s brother and Leader of the Opposition Shivpal Yadav and the so-called Muslim face of the Samajwadi party Mohammad Azam Khan were persuaded to accept Akhilesh?s leadership. In separate meetings with them late last night ‘Netaji’ reportedly convinced one to propose Akhilesh’s name and the other to second it.

Later, the two ‘senior’ leaders also accompanied Akhilesh Yadav to the Raj Bhawan, where Akhilesh as leader of the largest party in the 16th Vidhan Sabha, formally staked his claim to form the next government.

Addressing a crowded press conference minutes after being elected, a beaming Akhilesh said his top priority after assuming office would be maintenance of law and order in the state.

He reiterated his party’s commitment to fulfil each and every point of the party manifesto.

He also underlined that his government would not indulge in any politics of vengeance.” I want to repeat that nothing would happen to the statues.,” he added.





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