On the eve of Holi, March 23, Mulayam Singh Yadav flexed his muscle and criticized chief minister, and son, Akhilesh Yadav’s cabinet of ministers for being clueless about Uttar Pradesh’s development since 2012.
While addressing a public meeting in his Lok Sabha constituency of Azamgarh, the SP supremo was scathing in his assessment: “Several ministers are sitting here, but none will be able to say about the work done by the government. They are running the government, so, they are very busy. I too ran the government, and even the defence ministry, but remained among the people.”
With a recent TV survey predicting BSP’s Mayawati’s return to power, it could be that the former chief minister is feeling slightly tense.
Present on the dais were the usual suspects, except for one. Along with CM Akhilesh and several ministers, former SP leader Amar Singh was in attendance, too.
Since the day Amar Singh left, the party has not been doing all that well, and except for the 2012 UP assembly election win, which was more of an anti-Mayawati vote than a pro-Samajwadi Party vote, the party has little to show for. With the UP assembly election only a year away, the party is considering bringing him back into the fold.
On Amar Singh sharing stage, Akhilesh later told media persons: “Azamgarh is the home district of Amar Singh… He also wants the development of the region.” It was a vote of confidence that Singh would have enjoyed with great satisfaction.
In fact, Amar Singh is beginning to be seen with Mulayam on almost every occasion, sitting next to the party chief like he did for so many years in the past. In early March, he was sitting next to Mulayam on the occasion of senior minister Shivpal Yadav’s son’s marriage in Saifai.
It may only be a matter of time now, when the news of the once powerful general secretary of the Samajwadi Party is made official. Much to the dismay of Azam Khan, perhaps.
Amar Singh and Azam Khan do not share a healthy relationship. Azam’s influence in the party is likely to be diluted once Amar Singh comes into the scene, a prospect that the minister may not be relishing too much. Seeing the inevitable happening one day soon, the Muslim face of the party appears to be toning down in his bashing of Amar Singh. Burning every bridge might not be in Azam Khan’s best interest, after all.
With the reappearance of Amar Singh in UP politics, the 2017 election could see him playing a significant role once again for a party that might not enjoy the same verdict as it did last time around.