A party which wants to sustain in politics has to have three main things – Ideology, talented leaders and committed cadre. Although the Samajwadi Party claims to be a socialist party, it has been primarily working only on two principals -’Family first’ and ‘Appeasement politics’. It has dumped its socialist ideals. It refrains from giving space to young leaders from outside the family. So, it can be said that it has been reduced to a privately run, Minority appeasing party.
Overhaul or Signs of frustration
After its humiliating defeat in the recent Lok Sabha bypolls, Samajwadi Party has taken a big impulsive decision. In a rattling move, it has dissolved its entire party organisational structure, barring the party’s UP Chief, Naresh Uttam. The party communicated this decision through social media.
In a tweet the party said, “The national president of Samajwadi Party, Akhilesh Yadav, except for the state president of the party, with immediate effect dissolved the party’s national, state and district executive bodies. National presidents, state presidents, district presidents of all the party’s organisations, including youth and women’s wings, have also been dissolved”.
समाजवादी पार्टी के राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष श्री अखिलेश यादव जी ने तत्काल प्रभाव से सपा उ.प्र. के अध्यक्ष को छोड़कर पार्टी के सभी युवा संगठनों, महिला सभा एवं अन्य सभी प्रकोष्ठों के राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष, प्रदेश अध्यक्ष,जिला अध्यक्ष सहित राष्ट्रीय,राज्य, जिला कार्यकारिणी को भंग कर दिया है।
— Samajwadi Party (@samajwadiparty) July 3, 2022
The Samajwadi Party didn’t give the rationale behind this move. But a senior party leader termed it as a move to prepare for the 2024 Lok Sabha. He said,“The party is gearing up for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and the focus is to strengthen the organisation to take on the BJP with full force”.
The fault lies within
This organisational overhaul is nothing but a face saving attempt by the top brass of the party. Political analysts have linked it to the SP’s humiliating defeat in its so-called bastions, Rampur and Azamgarh. The Party Chief has been facing backlash for this defeat. As many leaders believe his absence from campaigning during the by-elections was the reason for SP’s defeat in its bastions.
Interestingly, Muslim community have large presence in these two constituencies. They have been predominantly voting in favour of Samajwadi Party. So, a loss in these constituencies must be giving Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav sleepless nights. It is an open secret that because of its appeasement politics it is left with only two voter blocs, Muslims and Yadavs.
So, a split in its core voter base will always mean a loss for it.
But in a multi party democracy, if parties keep on working only on the lines of caste and religion, other like-minded parties (caste/religion based parties) will always cause a voter split. Additionally, after the advent of the strong BJP in the state, it has transcended politics beyond the lines of caste and religion. Its antyodaya, development and strict focus on upholding law and order have broken caste barriers. So, rather than shifting blame on others, the top brass of SP has to change its way of doing politics. It has to shun its appeasement politics at the earliest. It should work as a responsible opposition, work socially and politically for all.
Moreover, the organisational overhaul may cause a further rift. The ousted post holders may revolt against the dynasts within the party. The dominance of Akhilesh’s family over the party is again an open secret. All major decisions are taken autocratically by the Yadav clan. All the important party posts are also in the hands of the family.
The chances of rifts are not a figment of imagination. Ugly spats, rifts and splits have taken place within the party whenever it has suffered humiliating defeats. The losses in past two Lok Sabha and two State assembly elections led to great turmoil in the party. The feuds between Mulayam Singh Yadav – Akhilesh Yadav, and Shivpal Singh Yadav – Akhilesh Yadav, were on public display.
On both these occasions, the fight was not about ideology or devising new strategies to win the next elections rather shifting the blame and taking control of the party. Similar to those times, one more feud within the party is visible, that is, between Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Azam Khan.
Taking all these points into consideration, one thing is sure that the Samajwadi Party is facing the worst crisis. If it wants to be a strong political force it has to drop its narrow political lenses and truly adopt the ideals of late Shri Ram Manohar Lohia. It should remember the fact its M-Y equation stands neutralized and it needs to evolve new progressive politics. As Evolution is the law of nature, those who don’t evolve with the changing times, perish.
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