Akhilesh Yadav has been playing a key role in forming a united opposition to fight BJP.
2018 has been the year of transition for Samajwadi Party with the party’s face and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav firmly establishing himself as the undisputed leader of the party one year after wresting control from his father. The UP power-house was blown away by the BJP storm in Uttar Pradesh assembly polls and factional wars and conflicts within the Yadav clan made the SP look like a house of cards.
However, through the year, Akhilesh continued his efforts to reorganise the party’s activities and forged alliances outside Uttar Pradesh. His biggest achievement, however, has been bringing SP’s arch-rival Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Mayawati on the discussion table. Akhilesh’s main challenge in the coming year will be to lead his party against an aggressive combine of Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and Yogi Adityanath in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, try to win as many as seats to have a major say in Parliament and build on it for 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.
Akhilesh has been playing a key role in forming a united opposition to fight BJP. He was present at the Opposition’s show of strength at the swearing-in ceremony of Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy in Bengaluru. He has also held meetings with key regional leaders like West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao. While his equation with Mayawati has surprised everyone, the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh can seriously jeopardise BJP’s plan and Akhilesh wants to make sure his party wins lion’s share of the 80 Lok Sabha seats. The stature of Akhilesh has surely grown and 2019 may prove to be his breakthrough year.
Besides being one of the most vociferous voices in the Opposition against the Modi government, Akhilesh has also started sending warning signals to the Congress. Denied a ministerial berth in the Kamal Nath government, Akhilesh said that the Congress party’s move has cleared the way for Samajwadi Party. The BSP and SP are not too keen on including the Congress in an alliance and Akhilesh’s latest move may spell more trouble for the grand old party.