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American 'tastes' democracy at Akhilesh Darshan

Uttar Pradesh,Politics, Wed, 02 May 2012 IANS

Lucknow, May 2 (IANS) For this 25-something US national, the sweltering heat in the state capital Wednesday was not deterring enough to wait under a harsh sun, 'slug it out' with teeming thousands as she waited for her turn to meet Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.


Joy Javer, who has been in Varanasi for seven months, told IANS that she was trying to meet the "young chief minister" to work out a possible joint venture with the state government to improve the lot of rickshaw pullers.


She hopes to provide, through a private company, cycle rickshaws and vocational support to rickshaw drivers and cart operators all over India.


While she did not manage to meet the 38-year-old Akhilesh Yadav due to the large crowds at the 5, Kalidas Marg official residence of the chief minister, she was not overtly upset.


"Well, I can understand he is awfully busy. But am sure my petition would reach him," she said, adding that Lucknow district magistrate Anuraag Yadav had taken her papers and assured her all help.


A native of St Antonio, Texas, the young woman said she was awe struck by this concept of "Janta Darshan" and found it "massive" as gatherings in the were "not so big".


"This is just mind-boggling," she exclaimed, and said she was happy to witness the faith people had in their leaders in India.


"It is indeed heartening but am sure this man has a long way to go," she added, referring to Akhilesh Yadav, who spearheaded the Samajwadi Party to a fascile electoral win in March.


Wednesday was the second Janta Darshan of the chief minister. Like the previous time, more than 10,000 people had turned up to petition him.


The complaints ranged from land grabbing, non-registration of complaints by police, police high-handedness, lack of power supply and problems related to irrigation.


Uttar Pradesh chief ministers in the past too have held Janta Darshans as an interface with people and for realty check of their governance.


While Bhratiya Janata Party leaders Ram Prakash Gupta, Kalyan Singh and Rajnath Singh and Samajwadi party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav held these, the exercise was discontinued by former chief minister Mayawati. Akhilesh Yadav initiated it again last month.


(Mohit Dubey can be contacted at


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