After the Karnataka polls Mamata Bannerjee declared her ambitions for 2019 in a cryptic congratulatory tweet to the new CM, HD Kumaraswamy, when another dynast in making, the ex CM of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav, gave a solid proof of the maxim: Expect the unexpected!
In a surprising statement, while lambasting incumbent CM Yogi Adityanath for the deaths caused by spurious alcohol in the area of Sachendi and Kanpur, Akhilesh Yadav has batted for his own father, ex wrestler and political kingmaker Mulayam Singh Yadav, as the face for the Third Front against the BJP in the upcoming general elections for 2019.
Beginning with his concerted attack on CM Yogi, Akhilesh Yadav attacked him for allegedly failing on all fronts. In his words, “ever since Yogi has become CM, kids are being attacked by dogs, and farmers are forced to commit suicides”. He also dragged Yogi into the deaths owing to the spurious liquor in Kanpur, blaming him for the mess, despite the latter’s active role in investigating the same.
One could’ve easily ignored his rants, had he not issued this statement as well, “Our party will contest the Lok Sabha elections against BJP with the entire opposition. One leader shall be unanimously elected as the face for the National Front, and it can be our ‘Netaji’ as well.”
This ‘Netaji’ is none other than Akhilesh’s own father and a seasoned veteran in Indian politics, Mulayam Singh Yadav. An unequivocal activist against the Indira Gandhi imposed Emergency, for which he was jailed as well.
Despite his association with hooliganism, and his patronage to criminals who double up as political musclemen, Mulayam has a sizeable clout in the national politics. He has also been the country’s Defense Minister from 1996 to 1998, when HD Deve Gowda and I K Gujral were the respective Prime Ministers for the United Front coalition government.
This declaration, coming barely a day after Mamata Bannerjee’s prime ministerial ambitions, does give the political tug of war an interesting turn. Buoyed perhaps by the results of the Karnataka elections, as well as the victory of the Phulpur and Gorakhpur bypolls, CM Akhilesh Yadav is now all set to take the bigger gamble with this decision.
Whether or not it succeeds depends entirely on the performance of the party in the upcoming Kairana bypoll, as well as the elections for the state of Madhya Pradesh.
Ironically, has anyone noticed about the omission of BSP in the entire statement? The very party, with whom Samajwadi Party had teamed up to give a surprise defeat to the BJP in the bypolls, now stands completely ignored in this entire race to the post of PM in 2019, and that is something Mamata cannot afford to let go, if she wants to have a serious chance in 2019.
With the statement of Akhilesh Yadav, the road to 2019 elections has now taken an interesting turn. With such tussles beginning even before the flight for PM’s post has officially taken off, it wouldn’t be surprising if the coalition fails to stop BJP from winning the people’s mandate wholeheartedly and returning to power in style. The clock is ticking.