Akhilesh Yadav

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A biographical sketch, Akhilesh Yadav; The Times of India, Jan 2, 2017

This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.

A brief biography

2 Jan, 2017: The Times of India

As the Samajwadi Party feud played itself out in UP, youth icon and leader Akhilesh Yadav emerged as the choice of the people with his perfect blend of power and popularity. Here's a look at the UP chief minister's political journey:

1. Akhilesh Yadav made his political debut in 2000 directly as a parliamentarian. He was elected to the 13th Lok Sabha after winning bypolls to the Kannauj LS seat after his father Mulayam Singh Yadav vacated it.

2. He was elected to 14th Lok Sabha for a second term in 2004, and then for a third term in 2009.

3. Akhilesh was unanimously appointed as the Samajwadi Party state president in 2011.

4. From 2004-2012, Akhilesh, a graduate in environmental engineering, was a member of Committee on Urban Development, Committee on Provision of Computers for various departments, Committee on Science and Technology, and Committee on Environment and Forests.

5. Akhilesh really came into his own when he called a three-day state-wide agitation against the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party in November 2011. He was arrested on the orders of then chief minister Mayawati who wanted to prevent him from participating in the protests. Hundreds of supporters turned up outside the jail to demand his release.

6. That very year Akhilesh began his populist campaign for the position of chief minister, and soon became a youth icon. He managed to make a connect with the younger generation by promising free laptops to students; he also introduced computers at party offices. Professionals, instead of musclemen, were given tickets. He rebranded the staid old cycle symbol into "umeed ki cycle" (cycle of hope).

7. In March 2012, Akhilesh was sworn in as the youngest chief minister of Uttar Pradesh at the age of 38. Soon after, he was also elected to the UP legislative council.

8. However, family relations went sour after he stripped his uncle Shivpal Yadav of all key portfolios, then was sacked as party state president in September 2016. Since then, the party has been split into two factions: one supporting Shivpal and SP founder Mulayam and the other backing Akhilesh. The feud escalated in October 2016, with a back and forth of expulsions and reinstatements of party leaders.

9. Last month, after being sidelined in the selection of candidates for the upcoming UP polls, Akhilesh released his own parallel list of candidates. SP supremo Mulayam reacted sharply and expelled him from the party on December 30, 2016. But after a massive show of strength by Akhilesh and his supporters, he was forced to rescind his decision.

10. On New Year's Day, 2017, Akhilesh unseated father Mulayam after being voted national president by the old guard as well as youth leaders.

A bend of power with popularity

Swati Mathur, Jan 2, 2017: The Times of India


Akhilesh's popularity does not stem from just his ability to deliver on developmental promises

The CM is also an accessible politician and a shrewd observer

It's no mean feat to unseat a 'dharti putra'. But chief minister Akhilesh Yadav achieved it with the perfect blend of power and popularity, delivering the blow in under 25 minutes, and shedding for good the taint of fourand-a-half chief minister.

As the Samajwadi Party feud played itself out in UP, of the many things that made Akhilesh the choice of the people was the power he wields as head of the government. Ministers and legislators were naturally eager to back him. But in his maiden stint as UP chief minister, Akhilesh has also emerged as immensely popular, perhaps even more so than father Mulayam. If Mulayam's grassroots connect won him the rural folks' support, Akhilesh's connect cuts across rural and urban pockets, resonating especially with the young population that thinks beyond the beaten combinations of caste and religion.

Amit Yadav, a SP worker from Ghazipur, said, "Bhaiyya is forward looking. He is talking about laptops, roads and employment opportunities.These are more important than caste to everyone."

Akhilesh's popularity does not stem from just his ability to talk about and deliver on developmental promises. Much like Mulayam, the CM is also an accessible politician and a shrewd observer who appears to have anticipated, in the case of the family feud, uncle Shivpal's growing ambitions and that MSY would drag his feet on giving him what he believed was rightfully his to take. If the old guard was worried they would be relegated to the back benches upon Akhilesh's elevation, he has assuaged those fears too, accommodating, happily , many Mulayam loyalists in his own camp, giving them organisational posts as well as ministerial berths. His choice of Naresh Uttam, a SP veteran, as SP state chief indicates that Akhilesh is not in a hurry to change the old order completely.

As a C.M.

Kunal Pradhan , The diminishing of Akhilesh , “India Today” 3/10/2016

Akhilesh as CM , India Today , Oct.3,2016
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