The Mahagathbandhan that the SP is considering could include the SP, Congress, RLD, JD(U) and smaller parties.
All’s not well with the Samajwadi Party. Ahead of the Assembly polls, cracks have started to emerge in the top rung of the party, The party seems to be heading for a split, with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his party supremo and father Mulayam Singh engaging in a face-off by sacking each other’s loyalists Shivpal Yadav and Ramgopal Yadav.
In a bid to counter his son, Mulayam Singh Yadav has plans to strategise a ‘Mahagathbandhan’ on the lines of Bihar before the UP Polls. The Samajwadi Party chief called up RLD leader Ajit Singh seeking his support on Sunday, while brother Shivpal Yadav placed a call to a senior JD(U) leader on Saturday saying that the only way the SP could be saved was if “Netaji (Mulayam)” took over the reins of power from Akhilesh. “Netaji ko ab aage aana hi padega. Bina Netaji CM bane, na party bachegi, na government (Netaji will have to come forward. Without Netaji as CM, neither the party will be left, nor the government),” Shivpal reportedly said.
It is suggested that both Shivpal and Mulayam are calling up possible leaders fot the Mahagathbandhan. The Mahagathbandhan that the SP is considering could include the SP, Congress, RLD, JD(U) and smaller parties. Feelers have reportedly been sent to the Congress too by Mulayam’s men, though the party is yet to give an opinion. Sources said Ramgopal too has been meeting Congress leaders to judge if they would back any efforts by Akhilesh to assert himself.
According to sources, Shivpal, Amar Singh and several powerful old Socialists want Mulayam to replace Akhilesh as CM, as the first step in their gameplan. They allege that Akhilesh has drawn up plans to go alone in the elections and even readied a punchline, ‘Mera parivar Uttar Pradesh hai (Uttar Pradesh is my family)’. Mulayam’s supporters claim Akhilesh’s faction has also prepared posters and hoardings without Mulayam or Shivpal’s photos.
Those close to Akhilesh say he is also weighing yet whether he can afford to cast aside the giant shadow of his father or not, and that he was forced to act on Sunday after a series of steps from the other side undermining his position, reports The Indian Express.
Meanwhile, As the confrontation between the Akhilesh camp and the Mulayam camp appeared to be reaching a point of no return, reports were already doing the rounds that the Chief Minister could launch a new party named ‘National Samajwadi Party’ or ‘Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party’ with motorcycle as its symbol. Interestingly, according to some media reports, Ramgopal had met officials of the Election Commission in New Delhi a few days back, which was seen as an exercise aimed at exploring a new symbol and party name if Akhilesh dumps SP.
Moreover, keeping a bird’s eye view on the politics of the Samajwadi Party, Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya on Sunday said Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav should tender his resignation. Also, the BJP believes, even if there is a Mahagathbandhan, the division of the Muslim, poor and Dalit votes between such an alliance and the BSP would only be to its advantage.
“We demand Akhilesh Yadav to resign or the Governor should prohibit him for taking any policy decisions till he proves majority,” said Maurya.