Distant Father Mulayam, Uncle Shivpal Boards Akhilesh Countryside on Own Land Etawah
Samajwadi party chairman Akhilesh Yadav’s campaign for the third phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections received a punch in the arm on Thursday. Samajwadi party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav’s estranged uncle Shivpal Yadav have joined challenger Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on his campaign in Etawah. It was the first time they had shared a stage together since 2016.
Akhilesh Yadav flew to Etawah after addressing eight rallies in voting constituencies in the third phase on February 20 and kicking off a road show around the city in his Vikas Rath.
During the day, in another demonstration of solidarity, the patriarch of the Samajwadi party had participated in a rally in Karhal, from where Akhilesh Yadav is contesting the election.
Samajwadi Party chairman Akhilesh Yadav campaigning in Uttar Pradesh (India Today Photo)
Halfway through the roadshow with a sea of supporters lining the streets, Mulayam Singh’s convoy joined them.
The patriarch moved to the rath and took the captain’s chair.
Soon Shivpal Yadav who split from the Samajwadi party after Akhilesh Yadav took control of the party and launched the Pragatisheel Samajwadi (Lohia) party in 2019 also joined him.
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For a time, Shivpal Yadav simply stood behind Mulayam Singh who had not actively campaigned for the party for some time. Then requested by Akhilesh Yadav, Shivpal Yadav came to the front posing as the trinity of the party for the cheering crowds.
Mulayam Singh, impressed by the crowd, kept asking, “Where is this huge crowd coming from? He repeatedly ordered the security team to allow some workers into the rat for a quick meeting.
Samajwadi party patriarch aboard his son Akhilesh Yadav’s campaign rath in Etawah (India Today Photo)
The third phase covers Etawah and Mainpuri, which were the strongholds of the Samajwadi party until 2017 when the party was decimated by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The bitter feud in the Samajwadi party’s first family over leadership saw Akhilesh Yadav antagonize his father and uncle.
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The result was a humiliating loss as the BJP came to power with 312 seats out of 403 in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly. The worst news was that out of the five assembly seats in the Etawah Lok Sabha constituency, the Samajwadi party lost all to the BJP.
The party saw repeated annihilation in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The BJP won 62, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) 10 and the Samajwadi Party five despite an alliance between the latter two.
This time, however, stung by the losses, the Samajwadi party made amends. Shivpal Yadav was preparing to fight the battle as a rival. He began campaigning in a specially designed rat. Realizing the dent he can cause in Yadav’s trusty vote bank, Akhilesh Yadav contacted his uncle who relented. He did not return to the party but joined as an alliance partner.
At Etawah on Thursday, Akhilesh seemed pleased with the show of unity and strength. Speaking to India Today TV, he said: “This time our effort was to bring everyone together. Uncle Shivpal has a party but he is with us. And that’s a big plus. »
Shivpal Yadav, standing beside him, said, “My blessings are with Akhilesh. I announced that he is our leader now. Mulayam Singh also joined us. The BJP will be wiped out.
READ: Shivpal factor in Akhilesh Yadav’s speech for power in UP polls | Ground Report
Against the BJP parivarwad or dynastic set up in the Samajwadi party, Shivpal Yadav said, “A farmer’s son is going into farming. A doctor’s son becomes a doctor. The family members worked for the people and the party.
Much to Akhilesh Yadav’s delight, Shivpal Yadav said, “Now the family is one and it has created a wave and in the third phase it will have a telling impact.”
Workers pop crackers all along the route of the roadshow. From almost all the buildings, the inhabitants and the tradesmen sprinkled with petals.
The presence of Mulayam Singh Yadav in the rath and the support of Shivpal Yadav should boost the fortunes of the Samajwadi party in the region.
In the last 15 years before the split, Shivpal Yadav had become the man behind Mulayam Singh’s organization, who was the political face and managed the national image.
He had acquired expertise in managing kiosks and controlling executives. Also, they were considered the face of Yadav politics in Uttar Pradesh. Their sidelining caused discontent among the Yadavs, especially the elders.
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The other discontent of the Yadavs was the 2019 alliance Akhilesh Yadav brokered with rival Mayawati’s BSP. The two had fought together in 1993 to defeat the BJP and Congress. But BSP’s quick gains have baffled Mulayam Singh, who has plotted to poach MPs from his ally. After the infamous guesthouse attack in 1995, Mayawati split up and became CM with the help of the BJP.
The split paved the way for one of the most bitter political rivalries in Indian politics. This had created enormous antagonism between the cadres and supporters of the two parties.
Akhilesh Yadav, in an attempt to bridge OBC (Other Backward Classes) and Dalit votes, and stop the splitting of Muslim votes against the BSP-allied BJP in 2019. Since the alliance did not have the absolute blessing of Moulayam Singh and Shivpal Yadav, the polarized supporters of the Samajwadi party, especially the elders, rejected the alliance.
Bringing Shivpal Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav together to bolster Samajwadi Party could end many grassroots fissures and galvanize traditional Samajwadi Party voters back into the party fold in Assembly elections from Uttar Pradesh.
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