By Haider Abbas
The political confabulations which Shivpal Yadav, the uncle of Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav, had aspired for have been laid to rest, particularly so, after the latter’s visit to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital to meet the ailing Muhammed Azam Khan, and all the bad-press and speculations of MA Khan ‘not happy’ with SP have been thrown to backburner. The game plan of Shivpal Yadav, who broke SP in 2016, then went on to remain in ‘good-books’ of the now Union Home Amit Shah for five next years, has been scuttled. The fate of Shivpal Yadav, now seem to have been sealed.
What is now to be on the next agenda of Shivpal Yadav? If not to join BJP, as it was widely known, that he was switching-off to BJP and was also to have got joined it, on April 19, but the Deputy CM of BJP Keshav Prasad Maurya had halted the move. The bargain was to scuttle the by-elections of Azamgarh and Rampur, the parliament seats vacated by Akhilesh Yadav and MA Khan, in favour of BJP, and thereafter, be awarded with a place under BJP. The strategy was working well, as he hopped quite a few times to meet MA Khan who was in Sitapur jail, and is now out on bail, and he also did deploy Pramod Krishnam for it too.
The visit of Akhilesh Yadav to meet MA Khan, with both his sons i.e. Adeeb Azam and Abdullah Azam by side, have to an extent extinguished the ‘tongue-wagging’ that MA Khan was having ideas to flirt with BSP or Congress. It is also deliberated that someone from MA Khan’s family or of MA khan’s choice, is to contest the seat of Rampur or else BJP may have a field-day in this otherwise MA Khan’s bastion. Rampur is the seat where Muslims voters are in a majority.
The other seat of Azamgarh, where SP had bagged all of the Assembly seats in the March 2022 elections, is now to see a Dalit face i.e. Sushil has been declared as SP candidate, and will get the impetus of 4 lac Yadav, 3 lac each of Muslim and Dalit vote, apart from being a constituency which has been Mulayam Singh Yadav’s, traditional seat. Shivpal Yadav job was to confuse Yadavs and Muslims, by getting mixed-signals, be sent from his meetings with MA Khan, are now perhaps to find no place. Mulayam Singh Yadav has been the funder of SP.
The declaration of Sushil who is the son of Ex. MP Balihari Babu, who has been associated with BAMCEF for a long time, is the strategy of SP to rope-into Dalit vote from Azamgarh as Dalits also have a considerale presence from the same seat. This is SP answer to BSP which has fielded Shah Alam, charge-sheeted by police in a molestation case, to cut into Muslim votes. BSP, throughout the whole Assembly elections had fielded candidates who would make SP loose, as BSP under Mayawati had made 86 Muslims stand and 122 candidates of the same caste denomination as that of SP candidates, and made SP loose many seats from mere around 200-1700 votes. BSP finished with one one/403 seats. Another vote-cutter All India Muslim Ittehadul Muslimeen is also yet to declare its candidate. Shah Alam, ironically was AIMIM candidate before the March elections.
Shivpal Yadav had formed Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party which is barely known, and owing to relations, Akhilesh Yadav, made his uncle contest on SP ticket, or otherwise Shivpal Yadav was not to have even entered Assembly this time, but it also dawned on SP, that Shivpal Yadav, despite regained inside, got many proxy and dummy candidates stand into fray, which ultimately resulted into SP ending high-and-dry. Hence, the latest acrimony stems from the abysmal show which SP finished with. Shivpal Yadav has also been scathing against his nephew and accorded him to have crushed-him.
What therefore, is now to be the fate of Shivpal Yadav, who has been lauded by UP CM Yogi Adityanath, quite a few times, during the Budget Session, except for making a line into BJP, as Shivpal Yadav has already toed the BJP line ‘by sanctioning’ by Uniform Civil Code-the otherwise long agenda of BJP. How and what would be the result of Azamgarh and Rampur will be on the anvil by June 25, and Shivpal Yadav entry into BJP, thereafter, will be a formality, as he has already signaled it through his ideological framework. But even if that is not to happen, the political-differences between SP Chief and Shivpal Yadav, is what however are to remain for a long time to come.
The writer is a former UP State Information Commissioner and writes on political issues.