As expected, the pillow fight within the Samajwadi Pariwar was over and Akhilesh Yadav is now projected as the ‘victor’ in the fight. It took no time for Akhilesh to announce that he would be considering an alliance with Congress to contest upcoming elections. Waiting for such a statement, Congress too lost no time in reciprocating. So, the alliance between Samajwadi Party and Congress is now real. Seat sharing is a mere formality and would be done as per the terms dictated by the Samajwadi Party. In the last column, it was observed that stitching an alliance with Congress was the requisite qualification for Akhilesh to lead the party and family, in a proper manner
Shivpal Yadav and Amar Singh became history overnight. Though Amar Singh, who has many lives like the proverbial cat may come back in a new role, for Shivpal Yadav perhaps this is the end of road. Perhaps, Shivpal failed to read his elder brother correctly. Maybe he tried to play an internal game to weaken the hold of Mulayam within the family, by involving children of second wife of Mulayam. While party workers widely believed that Mulayam and Akhilesh would never separate, the family dispute involving ‘brothers & sisters from another mother was the wrong move of Shivpal. He exposed to the national limelight, personal issues of Mulayam Singh Yadav that were hitherto kept without attracting much attention. Now, Shivpal is expected to support his nephew, if not for anything else, just for survival.
So, what is the outcome of the father-son fight? Akhilesh emerged as an independent personality, who could take on the ‘all powerful’ Mulayam Singh. At the same time, Akhilesh is an obedient son! He just went to this father and touched his feet, after getting the ‘cycle’ allocated to his faction by EC. If one accuses Samajwadi party for failing to maintain law and order situation in the state in general and the riots in particular, the blame shifts to people like Azam Khan and Shivpal Yadav. Akhilesh is credited with the construction of Expressways and Metros. Akhilesh is the archetypal ‘Kamal’ in the ‘Kheechad’. With the help of Congress’ Hand’, he is now planning to crush the ‘Kamal’ of BJP.
Now, when the ‘gathbandhan’ with Congress is a reality, perhaps a ‘mahagathbandhan’ involving RLD is not an impossible thing. Maybe the alliance of all communist parties (six together) be clubbed or asked to support the SP led group so that common enemy the communal BJP can be kept at bay.
As said earlier, why this alliance seems to be the handiwork of Prashant Kishor? Being an intelligent one, he understood he cannot overturn the fortunes of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh, especially when the party doesn’t want to improve itself. Next best thing he could do is to stitch an alliance in the state. And, if one remembers correctly, at the starting of 2016, only BJP and BSP were in the race. Considering the loss of BJP in Bihar, Mayawati was confident of returning to power in UP.
Samajwadi Party, on the other hand was struggling to prevent its image from getting spoiled further. One may say the pair of Congress and Samajwadi Party is the one that was destined to lose elections. Of these two, image of Congress was beyond repair, for there is no credible state level leadership available. Even while the party was not in power for more than two decades, internal squabble of Congress had not died down, forcing the central leadership to import Sheila Dixit, just for the sake of preventing more internal squabble.
Next job was to repair the ‘image’ of Samajwadi Party. This seemed impossible, given the state of affairs within the party and the administration, except the still innocent face of the much ridiculed half-chief-minister Akhilesh Yadav. New schemers sense the change in the moods of young generation that may not stick to the old caste and religion based elections. At the same time, given the voting percentage of BJP in general elections, it is almost impossible to compete with BJP on caste and religion based coalition. If one is going to fight with BJP, it would be on the development plank alone. And only Akhilesh could do that.
Then, Akhilesh was already the chief minister and was heading one of the worst state administrations in the country. There was a need to reinvent Akhilesh. A new Akhilesh, an independent one, a rebellious one, who could take on the ‘rogue’ elements of the Samajwadi Party. So, they planned a rift within the family in which Shivpal was made the fall guy.
The Samajwadi Pariwar rift drama was just about perfect, it just had one flaw. It results into the loss of minority votes, as was feared by Azam Khan. In all the calculations, Mayawati was the only uncontrollable factor from the Congress’s side. She was expected to try another variant of caste or religion based equation, which she did by announcing more than half seats to Muslims and OBCs. All this may lead to a division of Muslim votes (SP was confident of Yadav votes, after BJP’s Bihar debacle) and this split would be to the advantage of BJP. With the vote percentage, it commanded, BJP would be the single largest party, even if it cannot win the elections resulting into a hung assembly. So, the situation had to be dealt with now itself.
So, Akhilesh had to fight with his father. This was done with a purpose. The purpose was taking the support of Maywati, in post poll scenario, when BJP becomes the largest party but stays short of majority, even if the sky falls, Mayawati would never support Samajwadi Party, led by Mulayam Singh Yadav. But, it may be a bit easier to discuss with Mayawati about supporting Samajwadi Party led by Akhilesh. Who knows? Maya may support the secular coalition to prevent the communal BJP from forming the government.
What does this show? Neither SP nor BSP are confident of winning the elections. Only BJP is still confident of winning. Now, the situation so changed BJP should win on its own. In current situation, it is difficult for BJP to get any support from other MLAs. This is in a way would be a real test for the BJP leadership. It is time BJP woke up to real politic and use the data mangers to improve efficiency.
One thing is for sure. BJP has really scared all other parties like it never did. Even in the condition of scattered opposition, the reality of BJP’s presence in the state forced all other parties to think out of box and scheme things the way they never did earlier. All in all, current elections have turned interesting. The win in these elections would cement the position of Amit Shah in the party and if Narendra Modi likes to become Prime Minister again in 2019, a win in this election is crucial.