KOLKATA: Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee, who had first remarked on the potential he evinced in Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav's son Akhilesh Yadav, Saturday expressed happiness at the young leader being all set to take over as Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
With a virtual euphoria sweeping Uttar Pradesh following the election of the 38-year-old political heir of Mulayam Singh as legislative party leader, Chatterjee said Indian politics needed young blood.
"I am very happy that Akhilesh Singh Yadav is going be the next chief minister of UP. Indian politics needs young people because they come with lot of fresh and new ideas. More and more young people should join politics," Chatterjee told IANS.
Shedding light on a little known fact, Mulayam Singh had told IANS in Lucknow that when Akhilesh was elected in a by-election from Kannauj, a seat vacated by his father, it was then Lok Sabha speaker who saw "the spark in Akhilesh".
The former Communist Party of India-Marxist leader had suggested that the young MP be "allowed to be on his own".
Mulayam Singh took the advice seriously and allowed 'Tipu', as Akhilesh Yadav is fondly called in the family, to have a free run in scripting his political career.
"I and Mulayam used to sit very near to each other in the Lok Sabha. We had a very good relationship. After seeing Akhilesh, I had told Mulayam 'Don't interfere in Akhilesh's work, he should be allowed to be on his own'. I had seen a potential in that boy," said Chatterjee whose parliamentary career spanned over four decades.