By Alok Verma
Finally, the young Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has walked out of the shadows of his father and Samajwadi patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav. It took long for Akhilesh to build his own political base, party supporters but he gathered enough ammunition to launch an assault on his own father’s kingdom surrounded by evil forces in the words of now expelled Ram Gopal Yadav, the cousin of Mulayam Singh Yadav and a staunch supporter of Akhilesh Yadav.
The two-day family drama played in public may have caused a dent to the Samajwadi Party’s image temporarily but undoubtedly it has raised the stature of Akhilesh Yadav in the memory of public for standing up against his own father for protecting and promoting corrupt in the party. In the entire family feud Akhilesh outsmarted his chacha Shivpal Singh Yadav in his own political machinations and has successfully painted him the villain in the political game.
Shivpal Singh Yadav’s machinations were thwarted by Akhilesh Yadav earlier also when he on the backing of Mulyam Singh Yadav foisted a controversial IAS officer as the chief secretary of the State. Akhilesh Yadav had been nursing grudge against his chacha Shivpal Singh Yadav for quite long following his open protection to corrupt ministers like Gayatri Prajapati and several corrupt bureaucrats like the controversial chief secretary, who was later unceremoniously shunted out by the chief minister.
Using the two-day public squabble Akhilesh Yadav has unambiguously positioned himself as the only successor to his father’s legacy and made it clear in the party meet that if he finds anyone throwing his hat in the ring he will not sit quietly. In fact, Mulayam Singh Yadav has quietly endorsed the claim of Akhilesh Yadav by saying, “Akhilesh will remain Chief Minister but that he cannot do without Amar Singh and Shivpal.”
By settling the issue of his political heir publicly Mulayam Singh has sent clear signals that he himself might be having a soft corner for his friend Amar Singh and brother Shivpal Singh Yadav but the Samajwadi Party, which he built through his sweat and blood, will be led by his son Akhilesh Yadav.
Mulayam Singh is not such a naive politician who cannot sense which way the wind is blowing. By bringing his son and brother to almost a showdown the party supremo wanted to test out the political strength of his son, who clearly demonstrated that has a strong support of party legislators. This probably bolstered Mulayam Singh’s confidence into Akhilesh Yadav for taking his challengers in the family head on. This was a first open fight between his son and his brother in which Maulayam Singh Yadav played a referee by clearly declaring Akhilesh Yadav as a winner but raising his brother Shivpal Singh Yadav’s hand in the air.
The two-day Yadav public family drama may have initially sent confusing signals to the party workers and leaders but most may have gone back with absolute clarity that Akhilesh Yadav is the party mascot under whom the Samajwadi Party would be fighting the assembly elections.
Till a new political match is played in the Yadav family Shivpal Singh Yadav has lost to his bhatija Akhilesh Yadav.