The main question vis-à-vis electoral politics in Uttar Pradesh is whether the signs of recent cracks in the top family of Samajwadi Party or that of Mulayam Singh Yadav, will affect his son Akhilesh Yadav’s alliance with Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party or not.
Together the SP and BSP have planned to take on the might of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the 2019 general elections. So the new developments in the top rungs of the SP are meant to weaken Akhilesh’s position by reducing the winning ability of candidates fielded by him.
Multiple Opposition candidates are best suited for the BJP. This appears to be quite so after the recent losses suffered by the party in by-elections held in Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana. And Akhilesh’s uncle Shivpal Yadav’s move to form an ostensibly ‘secular front’ within Samajwadi Party is mainly meant to pose a challenge before Akhilesh where his bargaining ability for Lok Sabha seats in any alliance for the next polls is reduced.
Shivpal has the support of Mulayam and Amar Singh and by forming Samajwadi Secular Manch he aims at hoisting candidates in as many constituencies in UP as possible. This may lead to twin-candidates drawn from mainly Yadav and Muslim communities in the majority of UP’s 80 Lok Sabha seats and all of them are going to claim the socialist tag and legacy of the Samajwadi Party.
Before elections, this may well provoke Mayawati to demand more seats than Akhilesh’s SP and during polls it can divide the votes of the SP. This is how the BJP is going to benefit by Shivpal’s move.
So by throwing his hat in the electoral fray of UP Mulayam’s younger brother is actually posing a difficult question for Mayawati. And because of it now she can well tell Akhilesh that Shivpal’s front’s candidates are going to confront the ones from her party in any case. This is going to be so whether with the alliance of the SP and BSP or without it. She can also well remind Akhilesh how he had lost the post of UP Chief Minister in last year’s Assembly polls to BJP’s Yogi Adityanath amid feud in Mulayam’s family.
This is mainly the strategy behind the latest salvo fired by Shivpal against Akhilesh. And Amar Singh is actually behind it. He was present as a special invitee when Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated several projects in Lucknow on July 29. Modi also mentioned Amar Singh in his speech to elaborate upon a charge leveled by the Congress about his proximity with industrialists and businessmen, saying that Amar Singh could well tell how Congress dealt with business tycoons.
Besides this episode, Shivpal had once written to Modi for posting of his IAS son-in-law Ajay Yadav in UP. Ajay was serving in Tamil Nadu and wanted a posting in the home State in the wake of his father’s death. This warranted the IAS officer to look after his mother beside attending to his ailing infant son. His repeated efforts for the posting in UP were either turned down or not acted upon by the Central Ministry of Personnel and Training. And so Shivpal intervened successfully in the matter.
This shows how Akhilesh’s uncle was obliged by the Central Government after he wrote to the Prime Minister. Thus, the ties between Shivpal and the BJP have been built over some period of time. And it is now the turn of the former SP leader to bail out the BJP in UP where his nephew is going to pose a stiff challenge for the ruling party by forging and flaunting an alliance with Mayawati’s party.
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