Samajwadi Party founded by Mulayam Singh Yadav currently led by his son and former CM of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav, is facing a fresh wave of threat from the inside. While attending the birthday function of his colleague and senior party leader Bhagwati Singh, Mulayam Singh Yadav said yesterday that his stand in the party has deteriorated significantly. Mulayam lamented the fact that the values of socialism on which the party had been founded have ceased to exist owing to the new faces. The patriarch of the SP said, “No one respects me now. Maybe they will honour me after I am no more. Aaj hamara koi samman nahin karta.” Mulayam dealt a few more jibes directed towards his son and the current SP leader Akhilesh Yadav by stating, “The young leaders of today should take lessons in simplicity from their seniors and take the party forward with values that are the core of our party”.
It is common knowledge today that Mulayam has been completely sidelined in the party which he had founded. Akhilesh has taken over the reins of the party in his own hands now while Mulayam has been downgraded to the position of just a prop, his decisions and opinions in the party’s modus operandi have simply ceased to matter. The opinions expressed by Mulayam Singh Yadav were seconded in a matter of few hours by his younger brother Shivpal Yadav who stated, “I have been waiting for the past year and a half to get a respectable position in the party and I can only say that I am still waiting.” Shivpal Yadav is an MLA from the Jaswantnagar constituency of UP and is a stalwart from the SP who had worked shoulder to shoulder with Mulayam Singh Yadav in establishing the party from scratch in UP. Allegations and accusations like these will further harm the morale of the party workers who are already dejected from the loss in the 2014 Lok Sabha and the debacle in the 2017 state assembly elections.
A rift in the party had occurred just prior to the 2017 state elections with Akhilesh Yadav siding with Ram Gopal Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav siding with his brother Shivpal Singh Yadav. The situation went from bad to worse with both threatening to contest the elections separately. While Akhilesh Yadav wanted to side with the Congress and challenge BJP and BSP in the state, the faction led by Mulayam Yadav wanted the party to fight without any pre-poll coalition. The infighting had resulted in a debacle for the party whose seats got reduced to 54 from the 224 it had managed to win in the 2012 elections. BJP emerged as the winner in the state and had managed to form government with absolute majority on its own. Such a situation could play out once again if the two stalwarts from SP decide to again go head to head just a few months prior to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The threat of a split or at least of dissatisfied senior leaders Mulayam and Shivpal Singh Yadav is still looming large on the SP. Uttar Pradesh has 80 seats in the Lok Sabha, which is the largest in the country. A weakened SP in UP will directly benefit the BJP. The planned SP-BSP coalition in the state too will receive a jolt from statements like these issued by the founder of the SP. Mayawati and BSP will also have to take the very important decision in case of a split in SP, which could happen any day considering the dissent expressed by its leaders.