oppn parties Is Split the Answer to the War Within the Samajwadi Party?

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  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
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  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
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  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
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Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Is Split the Answer to the War Within the Samajwadi Party?

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
No peace in Samajwadi Party
Lasting peace has not been brokered – neither in the Yadav clan nor in the Samajwadi Party (SP). What has been put in place is an uneasy truce that is not likely to sustain for long. Mulayam spilled the beans when he said that his son and UP CM Akhilesh Yadav had cost him a shot at the prime minister’s chair. Now, not everyone gets a chance to be the PM of India. Hence, Mulayam effectively said that his son is a nalayak who doesn’t care for his father’s aspirations. So how would he care for the aspirations of the people of UP? Netaji is sore at his son and is using his brother Shivpal Yadav to settle scores.

Tug of war between father and son
While Akhilesh has removed some ministers and bureaucrats close to uncle Shivpal and retained some powers of nominating candidates in the upcoming elections, he had to agree to make his uncle the chief of the party in the state and restored the portfolios he took away from him. Shivpal Yadav, on the other hand, is quietly purging the party of people who are close to Akhilesh. This means that even an ‘all-is-well’ façade is not being maintained in public as the father (through proxy Shivpal) and son duo go after each other.

Shivpal actions will engineer split
The initial excuse given by Mulayam in appointing Shivpal the state party chief was that he had many followers in the party and if he was not accommodated, there would be a split in the party. But the events unfolding after his appointment show it is Shivpal who is engineering the split. For, if he continues to expel leaders close to Akhilesh, they are not going to take it lying down. They will strike back and then it will be all out war – if it is not so already.

SP stock at its lowest
It is sad that the dirty linen is being washed at a time when the stock of the party – as well as its leaders – is the lowest. Anti-incumbency has been aggravated by the family drama and warring camps in the party and grassroots workers are wringing their hands in despair. Akhilesh Yadav’s tenure has been ordinary at one level and disastrous at another. UP is infested with crime and criminals like never before. There has been no development. This has allowed Mayawati to make a comeback of sorts and the BJP fancies its chances if the backward class and minority vote is split between the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party. Hence, even the reported roping in of noted political consultant Steve Jarding to design the SP election campaign is probably not going to work for the beleaguered party.