Upheaval in the Samajwadi Party last month had gained momentum of epic proportions. Quite literally! While the party celebrated its anniversary in Lucknow, the internal conflicts of the Yadavs were not so internal anymore. The turmoil that brewed among the SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, his Chief Minister son Akhilesh Yadav, and brother Shiv Pal Yadav, bore similarities with the great Indian epic, The Ramayana.
Political analysts were quick to draw parallels that the fight between Akhilesh and his uncle Shiv Pal was engineered by the CM’s step mother Sadhana Gupta, who had political aspirations for her daughter-in-law. A peace-making Mulayam, the patriarch, had assumed the role of a hapless Dasharatha, as he tried to assuage everyone.
While rival political parties cashed in on the conflict, the Yadav family drama spilled onto the streets of Uttar Pradesh. The time was not opportune to the ruling party’s image, as elections are close by, and voters are important. In the ensuing days, experts tried to fathom where the rift was leading. There were questions, many of them: Why is Mulayam Singh siding with his brother? Why is Shiv Pal so acrimonious towards his nephew CM? Will Akhilesh be stripped of his power by Netaji?
But the Samajwadi Party chief proved that nothing beats filial love for the first born, putting all speculations to rest. Last week, Mulayam Yadav refuted any chances of pre-poll alliance with any political party. “There will be no alliance for the UP Assembly polls,” he told the media last week, adding, “There may be only a merger.”
This move speaks volume about the father’s inclination towards his son. And unlike the rivals wanted to paint the conflict between the father-son duo as a façade to garner political mileage, the move is genuine.
And such a decision will only bode well for the Samajawadi Party. It’s unanimously agreed that Akhilesh is the most progressive leader of SP, and his futuristic vision sets him apart from his socialist father. In the recent past, the Uttar Pradesh CM made a ruckus when his uncle tried to form alliances with minority parties in his absence.
Akhilesh, true to his principles, not only dismissed the alliance, but also scoffed at the move, terming it as “unnecessary” if party workers worked sincerely. The dig was of course at Shiv Pal, who had facilitated the coalition. The chief minister felt that a poll pact would undermine his position just when he has emerged as a leader in his own right.
Since then, Shiv Pal has left no opportunity to show Akhilesh in a poorer light. The public spat in Lucknow was a direct result of that. In the face of such Machiavellian drama, it was but natural that Akhilesh’s position seemed precarious to the public. But by refusing to go for any pre-poll partnership, Mulayam Singh Yadav has proved that no matter what, he trusts his son’s leadership.
After all, daddy Yadav agrees to CM sonny’s wish to showcase SP as a clean and strong party as poll campaigns roll out in India’s most politically dynamic state.