But the Yadav chieftain allowed him to work in his own way. In 2011, when the polls were announced for the 403 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh took charge and picked the party candidates. With a cut here and there, it was largely his choice, party insiders say. By the time campaigning ended in the seven-phased polls, Akhilesh had travelled more than 300 constituencies in a specially re-modelled bus, the Kranti Rath. He scripted a historic win for the SP, which bagged 224 seats in the 403-member assembly.
Image: Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, left, looks on as lawmaker and his son Akhilesh Yadav, right, smiles during a meeting at his residence in Lucknow, on Monday, March 5, 2012.