Yesterday, Samajwadi Party released a list of 40 star campaigners for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Shockingly the list doesn’t mention the name of Samajwadi Party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav. It seems that Mulayam Singh paid the price for praising PM Modi and endorsing him for the second term.
Earlier, SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav released the list of star campaigners including the names of party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Azam Khan, Dimple Yadav and Jaya Bachchan and others along with Ram Gopal Yadav himself.
Samajwadi Party releases its list of star campaigners; Akhilesh Yadav, Ram Gopal Yadav, Azam Khan, Dimple Yadav and Jaya Bachchan included in the list; Mulayam Singh Yadav's name not there. #LokSabhaElections2019 pic.twitter.com/QUZYpoC6ce
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 24, 2019
In February, on the last day of Parliament for PM Modi’s first term, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and veteran Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav endorsed PM Modi for a second term and praised him for taking everyone along. In the Lok Sabha, he said, “PM ko badhaai dena chahta hun ki PM ne sabko saath le kar chal ne ki koshish ki hai. Main kehna chahta hun ki saare sadaysa phir se jeet kar aayen, aur aap (PM) dobara pradhan mantri banein.” (We want him (Narendra Modi) to become Prime Minister once again. He has done good work and nobody can raise a finger against him).
Not to forget that the Samajwadi Party has fielded Mulayam Singh Yadav from Mainpuri, speculated as the safest seat for SP. Currently, the SP patriarch represents Azamgarh constituency. In the 2014 general election, Mulayam Singh Yadav contested from two constituencies, Azamgarh and Mainpuri, and won both. Earlier, in 1996, 2004 and 2009, he had represented Mainpuri as well.
Mulayam Singh Yadav has a reputation of being an unpredictable politician. He is a seasoned politician and understands politics better than Akhilesh Yadav. Mulayam Singh Yadav understood that at the age of 79, his ambition of becoming the prime minister is just like ‘Mungerilal Ke Haseen Sapne’ but spoiled the game for the anti-Modi front. BJP is using the statement against the alliance of SP and BSP. The BJP’s strategy is serving two purposes of Mulayam: First, it subdued his long-time political rival- Mayawati- who got a lifeline because of this Mahagathbandhan arrangement. Second, with Mayawati’s political career coming to an end, Akhilesh Yadav would automatically emerge as the principal opposition in the state.
Mulayam Singh Yadav knows very well that his son Akhilesh Yadav has three decades of politics ahead of him and his best bet is to make UP a bipolar fight between the BJP and the SP by outsmarting bitter political rival- BSP. The move will ensure the political survival of both Akhilesh Yadav and the SP.
When the SP aligned with the Congress in the 2017 UP state assembly elections, it suffered a humiliating defeat. Mulayam perhaps expecting a similar situation for his party in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, that’s why he is trying every trick in the book in order to avoid a repeat of a 2017 like situation. He built the SP with great hard work and can’t see it collapsing like a house of cards in front of his eyes.
Mulayam was never happy with his son backing SP’s long-time political rival- Mayawati. He also abhors the fact that Akhilesh Yadav is backing Mamata Banerjee or Rahul Gandhi for the post of Prime Minister. That’s why he prefers a second term of PM Modi as Prime Minister of India.
Mulayam is considered as ‘Dharti-Putra’ and enjoys great followership among the older generations of Yadavs and loyal supporters of SP. Although, his son has removed him from the party leadership, Mulayam Singh Yadav can still easily sway a major chunk of Yadav and Samajwadi votes. His name being removed from the list of star campaigners might cost SP dearly.