Mulayam Singh Yadav may have just crippled Samajwadi Party for good

Javed M Ansari
Javed M AnsariDec 29, 2016 | 22:29

Mulayam Singh Yadav may have just crippled Samajwadi Party for good

For a party struggling to keep its house in order following an open war in the first family, the latest round of squabbles in the Samajwadi Party shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav delivered an emphatic snub to son Akhilesh Yadav by leaving out several of the Uttar Pradesh chief minister’s key aides from a list of candidates for 325 of the 403 seats announced (on December 28) for the forthcoming Assembly elections. To make things worse, the senior Yadav leader announced many names which the chief minister had opposed, but were backed by his uncle Shivpal Yadav.


While it’s highly unlikely that the SP chief will agree to any major changes in the already-announced list, Akhilesh too doesn’t seem to be ready to give up his fight. Also, the chief minister will find it difficult to desert his loyalists even as speculation is rife that the SP chief’s latest snub may lead Akhilesh to leave the party.

Even though Mulayam, in the past, had managed to bring the warring factions (Akhilesh-Shivpal) together, his ability to bring about a rapprochement this time seems impossible, given the deep mistrust between the two sides.

Akhilesh Yadav doesn’t seem to be ready to give up his fight.

Those close to the SP chief believe that Akhilesh was trying to take over the party by undermining Mulayam’s authority and weeding out those close to the ageing patriarch.

They view his “vigorous espousal” of an alliance with the Congress party as an attempt to ensure his position as the chief minister if the combination manages to win a majority in the Assembly.

Attempts to completely outmanoeuvre Akhilesh have been on for several months now. First, Mulayam was convinced to replace Akhilesh as the state party chief with Shivpal, thereby severely limiting his say in the distribution of tickets. Then came the party chief’s assertion that Akhilesh would not be projected as the CM face. The chief minister expressed his strong displeasure and just when it appeared that the party was heading for a split, Mulayam managed to effect a rapprochement.


With barely a week to go for the announcement of polls dates, the SP chief has certainly not done himself a favour by reigniting the tussle within his party. Even though the party’s chances of winning the assembly polls don’t seem very bright, if not bleak, the latest episode may turn out to be the last nail in its coffin.

Last updated: December 30, 2016 | 13:15
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