Even as the euphoria of his party’s incredible poll victory faded partly in the violence perpetrated by celebrating party workers in half a dozen towns—two innocent persons died in the rioting—Akhilesh Yadav kept himself composed, faced with the need to explain his party’s chief problem, its “goonda” image. Excerpts from an interview with Sharat Pradhan:
Day one seemed to belie your assertion that you want to recast the image of your party, generally branded as one that has encouraged goondaism.
The incidents are unfortunate. I have already spoken to local officials in each of the places to identify the culprits and ensure that they are not allowed to go scot-free.
But aren’t they people from your party? Do you need to tell local functionaries to restrain them?
I have also done that. All that I wish to tell you is, give me a day’s time, I will see to it that those who have brought a bad name to the party, no...