The writer is founder and editor of www.youthkiawaaz.com, one of India's important online platform where young people voice their opinion on crucial issues that concern them and the country.
Maya Raj is out. Samajwadi Party has won the state elections with phenomenal numbers. Rahul Gandhi's efforts reaped no results. With an epic win in the state, the Samajwadi Party supremo declared that his son, Akhilesh Yadav would be leading Uttar Pradesh as the new chief minister.
With lawlessness booming in the state, his journey will not be an easy one. In a statement last week, the new chief minister-designate of the state, who is also slated to become the youngest chief minister in the country, said that law and order will be the top priority for the UP Government, and that no discrimination will be made on the basis of caste and creed.
He also said that honest officers will be appointed in districts and action would be taken against those who show laxity in their job. The SP legislative party leader, who would be taking oath as chief minister on March 15, said all the promises made in the party manifesto would be fulfilled by the SP government.
Akhilesh worked hard for this win. His 'kranti rath yatra', based on the plank of development, reaped results in his favour, and well, he deserved this victory more than BSP, simply because people wanted a change. Incumbency ruled the state.
But as Yadav junior heads to lead the city, here are some issues which we think he must act on right away.
1) Lawlessness and local level rowdies:
UP is infested with them. Last year, Uttar Pradesh reported the highest crime rate at 12.1 per cent of the total crimes in India. Uttar Pradesh suffers deeply from local level rowdiness with goons breeding in every city of the state. What furthers this problem is the delay in action by the local police in the state.
Having lived in Uttar Pradesh for over 20 years, I have witnessed this problem closely. Be it local markets, community centers, sectors or residential apartments and colonies, rowdies exist everywhere and create ever-growing problems for young people and women in the state.
I do not doubt Akhilesh Yadav's intentions, but this will by far be the biggest problem he will have to deal with.
2) Safety for women:
A 15-year-old girl was recently gang-raped on the outskirts of Noida, UP, by her friends. What added to her misery was the fact that the UP police let out her name and other details to the press.
A few years ago, a similar incident happened where a student of Amity was raped inside her own car, while her male friend was beaten up brutally by a group of youngsters from Garhi Chowkhandi village in UP. These are just 2 of the over 20,000 cases of crime against women, recorded in 2011.
UP has a dubious distinction of having the highest crime against women at 13.3 per cent of the total crime against women in India. With a hostile judicial system, suspecting society and a hostile local governance, the onus will be on Akhilesh to root out these issues and make the state safer for women.
3) Re-establishing the image of SP
Samajwadi Party already tops the list of candidates with criminal records - standing at about 795 candidates, out of a total of 2195 who contested the elections.
The party has been well known for giving tickets to candidates with a high level of criminal records, such as Brijesh Singh from Saiyadraja constituency with 39 criminal cases, Mitra Sen from Bikapur with over 30 criminal cases, and many others with over 40 criminal cases on their names.
4) Corrupt Bureaucracy and Administration
One visit to the RTO office for the drivers license will tell you how things work here. You will rarely find someone standing in the queue for their license. Why? Because a majority of the people prefer getting their license made by paying a bribe of Rs 1200 and jumping the row to get their work done.
If you go on and file a police report, the police would rather discourage you in order to show a lower crime record in their respective areas. This lax and corruption runs through almost all departments and creates a mess for the common man trying to get his work done.
5) Living up to the expectations as per the manifesto
This would be tough. Samajwadi Party has promised an allowance of Rs 1000/month to all unemployed in the state. Moreover, they have promised to waive the loans of weavers and farmers, and also to re-establish the weaving industry in Uttar Pradesh. Even though this sounds fantastic, I am bound to wonder how this would happen considering that the state suffers from a huge fiscal deficit of Rs 20,513 crore.
His main challenge here would be to establish a strong source of revenue in the state to cover up for this deficit and to enable the weaving industry to grow and have a growth rate that sets an example for others.
It would be interesting to see how Akhilesh Yadav, India's youngest Chief Minister who, with this win has set an example for many in the state, would deal with these challenges over his tenure as the head of Uttar Pradesh.