The Samajwadi Party drama in Uttar Pradesh may not be what it appears on the surface. Reason: The party was on the verge of implosion in October. But the warring factions led by Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav respectively, in an apparent change of hearts, joined hands after a “pari-war” that captured the imagination of the country for several weeks.
With just a few months left for the Assembly election in the state, another, and more dramatic, family feud for power has set the tounges wagging. Rumours say the entire feud is scripted to boost Akhilesh’s image as Samajwadi Party faces the difficult tasks of beating anti-incumbency, a rapidly rising BJP and an all-weather opponent BSP led by Mayawati.
In political circles of Lucknow, rumours around power tussle among family members of Mulayam Singh Yadav is something that always keep everyone entertained. But the family has this habit of showing unity under the leadership of Mulayam when it matters the most.
Consider the present situation: In a coup of sorts, Akhilesh and his supporters took control of Samajwadi Party office in Lucknow, ousted Shivpal Yadav and Amar Singh, who are considered by “experts” as main villains in the drama, and proposed to appoint Mulayam as the chief patron of the party.
Sometimes to protect the ones you love you must make the right decision. What I did today was a tough decision but one that I had to take. pic.twitter.com/M5xZYEZhii
— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) January 1, 2017
The coup could have unfolded in a different manner had there been an actual split in the party. Akhilesh could have sided even Mulayam from the party, instead of offering him the chief patron’s role. For Akhilesh himself believes that Mulayam is “misled” by Shivpal and Amar Singh and hence, not capable of running the party. But he never leaves an opportunity to praise Mulayam’s leadership and its significance for Samajwadi Party like a doting son.
On his part, Mulayam continues to claim he is the national president of the party. Shivpal seconds him, so does Amar Singh. So who runs the party now? As long as Mulayam remains the chief patron of the party, even if it is led by Akhilesh, none can deny that Shivpal or Amar would never be reinstated. For now, Mulayam has ruled out Akhilesh’s coup and claimed he controls the party. On Monday, reports said, Mulayam and Shivpal would move to the Election Commission to stake their claim for the party symbol – the Bicycle.
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There were rumours earlier that Akhilesh may form a new party “Progressive Samajwadi Party” with the motorcycle as its symbol to mark a generational shift in Mulayam’s legacy that has been powered by the “Bicycle” till now. Rumours ended abruptly when Akhilesh came back to the party fold after the bitter October feud. But this also led to another rumour, of the drama being scripted. The BJP and BSP gave voice to the rumours.
Over the years, Mulayam has raised an unmatched political empire in the country, even the Congress and Bihar’s Lalu Prasad Yadav would envy. With over 30 members of the family in active politics, Mulayam has raised a modern kingdom of sorts. Though kingdoms come with battles, the compulsions of electoral politics can inspire the “monarch” to script one artificial battle. Can this be denied?