As the Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra was in its last leg, the left-wing portal The Wire published an article titled, “The Bharat Jodo Yatra has effectively killed off the Pappu image.” The article talks about the attempt to relaunch Rahul Gandhi and emphasises the smiles and hugs of the Gandhi scion, his white t-shirt, and his “bushy beard.”
It was an attempt to conclude that “the Yatra has once and for all ended the whole “Pappu” narrative.” What the Yatra has achieved or what mandate it could bring to the grand old Congress party is a different debate. Well, today let’s talk about another scion, who could be stepping into the aforementioned narrative very soon: Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav.
Akhilesh Yadav backs Maurya over Ramcharitmanas’ row
In the ongoing controversy over Ramcharitmanas, Akhilesh Yadav has backed Swami Prasad Maurya and said that he will ask Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath about the meaning of “tadan,” or punishment, in the verse referred to by Maurya.
The remarks of Maurya, a prominent OBC leader, on the Hindu text Ramcharitmanas and his demand to ban it has drawn flak from all corners of the society. On this Yadav said, “Our chief minister is from an institution and is a yogi.” I will ask him about the lines of Ramcharitmanas on which discussions are being held today. What is the meaning of “tadan” in the verse and for whom it is used?
In a nation where people carry the civilisational ethos with themselves and carry the ideals from the life of Bhagwan Ram, backing a leader who has called for banning Ramcharitmanas is nothing more than a political suicide. Well, a simple look back at the political career of Akhilesh Yadav, it becomes evident that probably he was not fit for the game he was pushed into.
The entry of Akhilesh Yadav and the beginning of a great family drama
Akhilesh Yadav was launched by his own father. His political journey began in 2000, after he won the parliamentary elections in 2000 in Kannauj. He was fielded from a safe seat, as Kannauj happens to be a bastion of the Samajwadi Party. His political jump from 2000 to 2012 was pretty quick.
When Akhilesh was sworn in as the chief minister of the state, his father and party supremo, Mulayam Singh Yadav, was nearing his political retirement. Still, the forces behind the Akhilesh Yadav government were Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav.
Being the CM, Akhilesh slowly enhanced his grip over the party cadre. With Akhilesh taking over the reins of the party, the role of Mulayam Singh Yadav diminished, and Shivpal Yadav, the second-in-command, was sidelined.
Also Read: Rahul Gandhi has entered into last and desperate phase of “Hindu Todo Yatra”
The political debacles under Akhilesh’s leadership
Over the past 10 years, the Samajwadi Party has witnessed a steep downfall under Akhilesh Yadav, something that was never predicted under the leadership of Mulayam Singh Yadav, who worked to bring the Muslim and marginalised castes together. The Samajwadi Party contested the 2017 assembly elections with Congress. It fielded candidates for only 311 of the 403 seats in the assembly.
It won only 47 seats, and the vote percentage dipped from 29.19% in 2012 to 21.82% in 2017. Back in 2012, the Samajwadi Party had swept 224 seats in the assembly elections. Yadav again attempted to stitch an alliance with Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in the 2019 general elections. Well, while BSP did improve its tally from zero in 2014 to 10 in 2019, SP fell straight to the ground.
With 2.6% of the vote nationally and 18% in Uttar Pradesh, the SP could only save five of its bastions. In 2022, Akhilesh Yadav failed miserably in dethroning Yogi Adityanath, even after his much noisier campaign. Much like Congress, which is failing in every election in such a manner that its national party status may come into question in the coming year.
Four successive debacles are enough to break the backbone of any regional political party; further, the base of the Samajwadi Party rested on the heap of dust called the OBC-Muslim alliance.
There is no dawn for the Samajwadi Party
The much-hyped OBC-Muslim alliance, Jat-Muslim alliance, and Dalit-Muslim alliance have already fallen flat on their faces with the BJP expanding its base. With the loyal base almost over and no father’s shield, experience, or guidance, it seems that there is no dawn for the Samajwadi Party under Akhilesh Yadav.
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