In his stay, lasting just five hours in the city, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had two important appointments to keep: meeting with his Tamil Nadu counterpart and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalithaa and participating in the inauguration of Vanniyar youth festival organised by the Pattali Makkal Katchi-backed Vanniyar Sangam.

After inaugurating the festival at a star hotel here, he straightaway headed to Fort St George for a courtesy call on Ms Jayalalithaa.

There was no surprise element in their meeting as Ms Jayalalithaa was among the early callers to congratulate Mr. Yadav and his father and SP president Mulayam Singh after the Samajwadi Party’s spectacular return to power in the U.P. Assembly elections in March last year.

In the 2007 presidential election, the AIADMK and the SP, along with five other parties, floated the short-lived United National Progressive Alliance and favoured the then outgoing-President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for a second term [However, Mr Kalam did not contest]. In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the AIADMK was part of the third front which included the SP’s bitter rival, Bahujan Samaj Party, and the Left.

Later, talking to reporters, Mr. Yadav said the Samajwadi Party government was successfully implementing its election manifesto.

As far as law and order was concerned, the government was “very strict” and it would not “compromise” on the issue, he said, adding that some police officers had made mistakes, against whom the government had taken “strong action.”

On the ties with the Congress, he said that it was for his father and Samajwadi President Mulayam Singh to take a call.

Regarding the latest incident of child rape in Delhi, Mr Yadav replied that safety of women should be given a top priority and called for strong steps to tackle the problem.

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