Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh witnessed not only political power changing hands from BSP to SP in 2012 but also a generational shift in leadership with Akhilesh Yadav assuming the post of Chief Minister.
    
The assembly elections only reiterated the hold of regional players in the politically crucial state and Congress and BJP being relegated to the sidelines despite all out efforts by their national level leaders.
    
If BSP's Mayawati paid for the numerous scams and ostentations on parks, memorials and museums, Akhilesh led SP in wooing voters from roads to the board rooms cycling around dusty roads to highlight the importance of technology, besides depicting a major shift in the party's policy.
    
If Akhilesh won over the common man's faith, his party's manifesto promising freebies like laptops, computer tablets and most importantly unemployment allowance set in motion the massive success story of the party, which had in the last elections took an anti-computer and anti-English stance.
    
The stiff opposition by Akhilesh to re-induct the likes of DP Yadav in the party, despite a formal announcement by senior leaders, was hailed by political observers. It is, however, another story that he found going tough because of the complex political system of the state.
    
Though SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav sought six months time for his son to get into the groove and political foes also exercised immense restraint, by year end Akhilesh's inexperience started showing up and conflicting signals indicative of more than one power centre in the ruling party further complicated things.
    
If Akhilesh's earlier decisions making a U-turn on closing down markets and malls at 7 in the evening to deal with the power crisis and allowing legislators to buy vehicles from their local area development fund were taken as signs of a resilient leadership, the inordinate delay in announcing sugarcane support price and lack of decisive action against corruption of the previous government were taken as examples of inaction.

(Agencies)

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