Ahead of the fourth phase of the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, BJP has employed its big guns to neutralize the opposition. While addressing a BJP rally in UP’s Rampur Karkhana assembly seat on Sunday, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan took a dig at Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav for their frosty relationship.
Shivraj said, “Akhilesh Yadav is the Aurangzeb of today. The person who could not be loyal to his father, how could he be loyal to you [voters]? “I am not saying this. Mulayam Singh Yadav had said that the person who could not be loyal to his father, how could he be loyal to you (voters)?”
The MP CM continued the attack and added, “Aurangzeb did the same thing. He had imprisoned his father, Shah Jahan. He killed his brothers. Mulayam Singh Yadav says that no one disrespected him as much as Akhilesh.”
अखिलेश यादव आज के औरंगजेब हैं। जो अपने बाप का नहीं हुआ, वह आपका क्या होगा? यह मैं नहीं उनके ही पिता मुलायम सिंह यादव जी कह चुके हैं। #BJPWinningUP@BJP4UP https://t.co/CdsTqSoD7j pic.twitter.com/FZvlq1R0Tc
— Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) February 20, 2022
Jo apne baap ka nahi, vokisi ka nahi: Mulayam Singh Yadav
And Mama Ji is indeed right. The father-son duo of Mulayam and Akhilesh had a period of a cold war where both traded blows with one another. Such was the level of pettiness between the two that in 2017 after the election loss, Mulayam targeted Akhilesh and said, “The one who couldn’t be loyal to his father, cannot be loyal to anybody”.
Not only this, Mulayam iterated that it was a mistake to make Akhilesh the CM of the state. “Things would have been different if I had been the chief minister,” he had said.
Shivpal and Akhilesh fight, Mulayam sides with the former
As reported by TFI, the first real crisis between the relations came in 2015. On the inaugural day of the Saifai Mahotsav. Shivpal Yadav expelled three close aides of Akhilesh Yadav for anti-party activities. As a result, Akhilesh, the then state CM was forced to miss the opening day of the family festival.
Speculations of rift soon started making the airwaves. However, the party, at the behest of Mulayam quickly doused the situation by reinstating the expelled leaders and it all came to a mushy ending. But Akhilesh felt undermined.
What followed was a series of back-and-forth incidents where both Shivpal and Akhilesh tried to project themselves as the alpha males. Shivpal brought in Bahubali criminal Mukhtar Ansari and his party into SP’s fold. Akhilesh protested against the decision, and the merger was cancelled.
Amidst the drama between Uncle and nephew, Mulayam sided with the former. In a series of press conferences, Mulayam sat beside Shivpal and made everyone believe that these two were the victims.
Akhilesh felt sidelined
Upon being asked if Shivapal will leave the party, Mulayam had remarked, “Shivpal will be in the party and government, both. He will take care of the party in UP. I and Ram Gopal Yadav took the decision.”
Having ensured the backing of the party supremo, Shivpal toned down his angst against the chief minister saying that “whatever is acceptable to Netaji (Mulayam) is acceptable to me as well.”
The belief was reinforced when Mulayam expelled Akhilesh for six years after the UP CM released a parallel list of candidates. While Mulayam backtracked on the decision, Akhilesh did not take the insult lightly.
To send a message to his father, whom he could not have cut to size directly, Akhilesh rounded up the party MLAs of the state, crowned himself as the state unit leader, bumping Mulayam as the mentor of the party while leaving Shivpal with nothing.
It was the reason Shivpal was forced to leave the party and forge a new political outfit. Then came the crushing defeat of the assembly polls where SP made an unholy alliance with Congress. Mulayam had never given his ascent to the coalition and it caused a lot of bad blood between father-son.
Akhilesh did not consult me for the alliance: Mulayam
At one point, Mulayam said, “Alliance with Congress is responsible for the present poor state of the party. I had advised Akhilesh not to go ahead with it but he did so. The SP is itself responsible for its defeat and not the people of the state,”
Mulayam admitted that Shivpal was angry but stressed that the latter had worked hard for the party. “We all know who is the ‘Shakuni’ (a villain in Mahabharat)” he said, in a veiled attack on his cousin Prof Ram Gopal Yadav who had backed Akhilesh during the family war.
Such has been Akhilesh’s influence in the party that he even forged an alliance with the party’s perennial rival Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for the 2019 General elections. Mayawati added 10 seats to her tally while SP remained static on 10.
Safe to say, if the SP falls short in the ongoing elections, we may see another round of catfight between the SP top brass. However, given the waning powers of Mulayam, it wouldn’t be a surprise that Akhilesh sacrifices his father and usurps complete control of the party, much like Aurangzeb did.