Looking through UP
In April 2012, the Samajwadi Party won the state by a majority, only the second time in nearly two decades that a single party has formed the government in UP. It was a composite mandate ó the party had drawn voters from every caste and religious group in UPís famously fragmented political terrain. Great hopes rested on the new government, therefore, which was headed by a young and sincere-seeming Akhilesh Yadav. This was billed to be UPís shot at a turnaround, much like neighbouring Biharís near-transformation in recent years under the stewardship of Nitish Kumar.
By all accounts, that opportunity is being steadily squandered. This is in part because the SPís attention is trained on Delhi, and partly because it is slipping back to the bad old ways, with out-of-control party workers interfering, unchecked, in police and administration. Rather than strengthening economic fundamentals, the state government spends its resources on freebie schemes designed to