With a bitter family feud in Samajwadi Party, BJP’s bet on demonetisation and the sword of coalition looming large, Uttar Pradesh is up for grabs. The whole political episode in UP has always been dramatic, and this year before the assembly elections, it is nothing short of a potboiler. But as both father and son in SP are cracking whips on each other, where one is powerful and the other is popular, it remains to be seen, who can hold his own amidst all the fracas. Akhilesh is a mature politician now, after all, he is the scion of a wise old leader. The politically novice leader has come of age and is challenging the giant. As SP faces a double-edged sword, it is undeniable that one side is going to bleed more, and this time Akhilesh seems to have the upper hand.
However, this fight goes a long back. The defiance started by the Chief Minister when he openly resisted his uncle Shivpal Yadav. Mulayam Singh had tried to make peace between them but his siding with Shivpal, by making him SP president for UP, didn’t go down well with Akhilesh. This gave a rise to an open battle where Akhilesh sack ministers who were allies to Shivpal, and in turn his uncle removed CM loyalists from the party.
Amidst all this drama, it is surprising that Mulayam Singh, a political behemoth decided to be a CM candidate when the elections can be announced any day. Yet it was heard in frantic political whispers that the expulsion of Akhilesh was a political martyrdom. But Akhilesh knows better. Empathy goes a longer way that ambition. There is no doubt that he knew he was going to be ousted from the party, but he also knew he had more MLAs supporting him. Akhilesh is highly popular in the state but the party is in the muck, which raises even further doubts on Mulayam’s decision for defiance. And this is not the first time that Akhilesh face the scath, as all his life he has been a rebel against his father, be it marriage or be it studies. And then there was re-inducting of Amar Singh in the party. The moot question, however, is Mulayam jealous of the adulation received by the CM from people, which goes beyond vote bank politics?
After Mulayam Singh decided to throw his son and CM out of the party, both Akhilesh Yadav and the party had reportedly called for separate meetings. According to reports on the attendance of the meetings, spoke volumes about where the balance of power tilts. And clarity ensued when Akhilesh came out and said that he was reinducted into the party.
But we must also take into consideration of Mulayam Singh’s role in shaping the CM and the party itself. He carved the path of Akhilesh to the top with the precision of a wise Indian politician. He processed goodwill of people for Akhilesh by making his join the Youth wing and using it in the 2012 assembly elections. But Akhilesh knew how to turn the parivarwaad image to gather trust of his people. As Akhilesh soared in the minds of the public, his party went down due to awkward internal dynamics. Now, if he decides to float a new party, it will only end up helping the Congress and Mayawati.