Rahul Gandhi has shown he is not the ‘good boy’ UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav claims him to be. A few days ago, when asked about Rahul’s 2,500-km ‘Kisan Yatra’ in UP, Akhilesh had sparked the rumours of SP-Congress alliance with a statement. “Rahul is a good human being and a good boy. If he spends more time in UP, we can also have friendship with him…If two good human beings meet, what’s wrong in that,” the UP CM was quoted as saying by PTI.
The Congress vice-president, however, seems not much impressed with Akhilesh’s friendship offer. On a day when Akhilesh was already trying hard to kill the rumours of rift in Mulayam Singh Yadav’s family, Rahul chose not to let go this opportunity of attacking the ruling party. Addressing a rally in Mirzapur on Wednesday, Rahul said, “A few months before the elections, Akhilesh wants to repair the cycle (SP mascot). This will not happen.” He further said, “Tyre of cycle is already punctured, yesterday Akhilesh Yadav ji threw the wheel out.”
While Rahul has now shown he is not the ‘good boy’ as expected by Akhilesh, the latter is apparently turning into a ‘bad boy’ of Mulayam’s family. Some of the decisions taken by Akhilesh in the last two days point towards a brewing rift in the Yadav family.
The UP CM sacked two ministers — Gayatri Prasad Prajapati and Raj Kishor Singh — considered close to Mulayam and replaced UP secretary Deepak Singhal, who was considered close to Shivpal Yadav, with IAS officer Rahul Prasad Bhatnagar. On Tuesday, when the SP supremo replaced Akhilesh with his uncle Shivpal as the state party chief, the UP CM removed Shivpal from some of the key ministries of his government.
Talking to reporters on Wednesday, however, Akhilesh downplayed the family rift rumours, saying there is a fight in the government, not the family.
Even as Akhilesh’ friendly words for Rahul had raised rumours of the possible alliance, the rumours had not much weight, considering Mulayam’s longstanding “mistrust” of the Congress. The love-hate relationship between both parties has been continuing for long. Mulayam often blames the Congress of betrayal and the misuse of CBI against him and his family in a disproportionate assets case. In contrast, the Congress leaders accuse him of preventing Sonia’s rise to power in 1999.
If Rahul accepts the extended hands of Akhilesh, both leaders may prevent a split in anti-BJP votes. However, this is not the end. Both the leaders may have another opportunity to become ‘good boys’ after the Assembly elections early next year.