Your honeymoon period is short
Chief minister designate Akhilesh Yadav was bang on when he had said the youth in the state were with him. “The crowds queuing outside the employment exchanges in the state tell us that youth is supporting us and not Rahul,” he said.
Some of my colleagues were sceptic as during their intensive interaction with students in colleges across the state, Rahul had emerged as their first choice. Results proved Akhilesh was right.
What was it that turned the youth from Rahul to Akhilesh? Now some of Gandhi’s staunch critics may say, ‘People are fed up with dynasties.’ But then Akhilesh is also a product of Mulayam dynasty. He is second generation while Rahul is fourth.
Somehow, I feel Akhilesh understood the rising aspirations of the youth in the countryside. While he focused on the youth, Rahul got bogged down with castes and communities. The frenzy at Akhilesh’s meetings was indescribable; something that one got to see only when film stars visited glamour starved small cities.
Surely it was the Samajwadi Party’s understanding of the rising aspirations of the youth in the countryside that won him support much more than Rahul who dangled the quota carrot to woo them.
The desire to have laptops and tablets, the desire for better education, better jobs and if not that then unemployment allowance, Rs 30,000 for girls after Intermediate and Muslim girls after high school et al.
But now the expectations are rising, there is impatience in the air – the queues are turning into uncontrollable crowds. At several places they have been lath-charged. Are the sops feasible? Where would the money come from? If Akhilesh wants to retain youth support, so crucial to SP’s performance in the Lok Sabha elections, he will have to read his party’s manifesto once again and dissect them as the bureaucracy will have unlimited reasons to convince him about their impracticability.
The supporters have not read the manifesto, they have only heard him. He then didn’t have the time to explain the promises, lost as he was in his part’s campaign. Take for instance the unemployment allowance– the manifesto says it’s for the unemployed above 35 years of age.
Akhilesh says if the state could have funds for statutes, why not for sops? But he has to act fast before the boon turns into a bane.