The meeting of Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and Bharatiya Janata Party State President Swatantra Dev Singh signals a shift that no other politician of his stature can catch and capture. Yadav had categorically wished PM Narendra Modi in advance for a second term, leaving many of his opposition colleagues surprised, stunned and bewildered in the Lok Sabha. But his genius and greatness in reading and translating the political scene thoroughly is what distinguishes him from the rest of the lot.
Maybe, it can be inferred that his reliance and reliability on Amar Singh denied the second term to Akhilesh Yadav by bringing Shivpal Yadav and Ramgopal Yadav conflictingly closer to each other. The former launched his own political outfit, the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party, which has impacted and hurt the prospects of SP in the longer interest. The damage had been done, but netaji, a short for Mulayam Singh Yadav, made no mistake in sidelining and isolating Amar Singh from the ranks and cadres of SP.
Similarly, netaji is exploiting the rivalry and tussles between Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya, who are competing for their respective place and position in the party. They know that the UP Assembly election next year might throw a mixed bag of responses from the electorate, who is panicking and is frightened by the corona pandemic for its devastating consequences on their lives and livelihood.
Secondly, Yogi‘s penchant for advertorials and advertisements does not hold ground with the common and ordinary toiling and suffering for want of better access to facilities and resources. From hospital beds to oxygen, and education to employment, Uttar Pradesh’s performance has been trembling and troubling with all indicators falling far below the bottom and the regime sitting quietly into oblivion, changing names of cities, towns and districts for the want of better alternative and ideas.
Downtrodden communities ending up deplored and deprived may give the opposition a ray of shine with SP configuring and arranging its appeals and campaigns amongst the lower sections of the population. Akhilesh Yadav’s camaraderie with Om Prakash Rajbhar or netaji’s engagement with Swatantra Dev Singh presents a point in itself. Along with an alliance of the smaller caste parties, the stakes for SP are high, provided it keeps its ears on the ground as otherwise, all attempts will go futile with an organisationally sharp BJP, tricking its core base and constituency.
The party is raising the agenda of Hindutva higher to claim the legacy of those who have always been at the periphery. Kalyan Singh was one of them but then, everybody is familiar with the treatment meted out to him with the BJP expelling him twice. Kalyan Singh was forced to seek asylum in SP under Mulayam Singh. Will Swatantrata Dev Singh, too, like to explore the available options before him as for the diminishing graph of the backward castes in the BJP with Yogi almost becoming the poster boy of the party and posing a challenge to someone like Narendra Modi on his turf?
In politics, you can never say what becomes possible when as it’s all about conveniences and not convictions. What awaits UP in 2022 can’t be said with surety except for guessing symbols, signs and gestures of the netas casting their deceptive appearances net wide open.