By Sunil Dang
When Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav began his poll campaign from Bareilly, it was expected that the SP patriarch would set the agenda of fast approaching UP assembly elections by highlighting the developmental works being done by his son, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. However, his speech being on the same line which other opposition leaders have been toeing since November 8 not only dejected his party worker, I am sure it would have dejected the incumbent chief minister of Uttar Pradesh also. Rather than walking into the Modi trap, Mulayam was expected to showcase Lucknow-Agra Expressway and its impact on the day to day life of the people around it, new jobs being created by the government and other infrastructural works that would benefit UP in coming days. But, Mulayam Singh chooses to criticize central government for demonetization — an indication that Mulayam has lost connect with grass root workers and his close aides are giving him wrong information.
If Mulayam was so determined to showcase his anger over demonetization which has forced millions of public in general in precarious condition, he should have taken cue from his Rajya Sabha lawmaker Naresh Aggrawal who took the centre on task citing ‘whole demonetization scheme has been taken by keeping UP elections in mind.” If he had paid heed to Naresh Aggrawal’s views that he had expressed while participating into the parliamentary debate over demonetization, Mulayam should have understood that BJP is in gaining position if demonetization becomes the talking point in the UP assembly polls.
It was also shocking that Mulayam Singh Yadav chose to remain mum over Mayawati from whom he wrested power in Lucknow in 2012 assembly polls. Mulayam’s such jibe gave an opportunity to his opponents to insist that he has close door ties with the BJP and hence they have decided to attack each other’s and don’t identify others in the poll fray.
The SP supremo thinking otherwise and relying on his kitchen cabinet indicates that he is falling in line with ageing LK Advani — one of the ‘marg darshaks’ of BJP — who continue to take on the Modi government for its policies including demonetization but nobody is ready to buy his proposition. This is happening because such senior leaders have lost their hyper local connect with the grass root party workers and actual status of the voters.
However, coming back to the UP polls, Mulayam error has become a blessing in disguise for his son Akhilesh Yadav. After the uncle-nephew scabbard that almost rocked the UP government and the Samajwadi Party, it has become clear that Akhilesh is the clear winner in this whole episode and he would set the party agenda in coming UP state polls. But, to set the poll agenda, Mulayam Singh Yadav himself gave a walk over to his chief minister, son, Akhilesh Yadav. So, I will wait for his next election rally where I am sure Akhilesh’s speech is expected to revolve around developmental works that he has done in last five years. I am also expecting Akhilesh to ask Modi about the good work that the prime minister has done for UP both as PM and as MP from Varanasi that falls in UP. If Akhilesh does this, he will become both the inside as well as outside agenda- setter of the party.
But, there is a twist in this whole episode. I have been reporting continually that both Mulayam and Akhilesh have fixed their match to clearly indicate the actual status of the uncles who may become threat to the Akhilesh Yadav leadership in future. If this is the case, then Mulayam has deliberately decided to give the walk-over to his son to decide the agenda of the UP polls along with the party candidates.