Amidst the intrigue triggered by the wrestler-turned-politician, what will be watched with curiosity is the next move by BSP chief Mayawati and views of Muslim supporters of Samajwadi Party, who form the party’s core vote-bank.
Lucknow: A billboard at Hazratganj with a message thanking Mulayam Singh for endorsing Modi’s candidature as 2019 P… https://t.co/Xj8MUOHxYc
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Having betrayed his political partners in the past from Congress to communists, this time Mulayam’s target is none other than his own son and party chief, Akhilesh Yadav, who buried his party’s 25-year-old enmity with arch rival BSP to take on Modi. But Mulayam’s public blessing to Modi at this crucial juncture has left the SP cadre confused.
Mulayam’s support to Modi will only weaken Akhilesh’s campaign against Modi and “communal forces” and SP’s credentials may be doubted by his political partners from Lucknow to Kolkata. In Lok Sabha, a smiling Mulayam did not stop at blessings for Modi, he went on to say “Jab bhi maine kuch kaam kaha, unhone turant kar diya (whenever I requested for a favour, he obliged readily).
Despite his prolonged political battles with ‘communal forces’ like BJP, since early nineties, Mulayam has nowadays been cozying up to Modi and nurturing his proximity with him by not only inviting him to attend marriage function of his kin, Tej Pratap Yadav, but the way he embraced Modi during the swearing-in of Yogi Adityanath on March 17, 2017, had raised eyebrows. When Mulayam was sitting in the audience, it was BJP chief Amit Shah who took him on stage by holding his hand. Since then, Mulayam has hardly been attacking Modi and at times, he praised his “decisiveness”.
Read also: Wrestler Netaji’s praise a gesture to rivals in ring, SP says
Whether it’s the Amar Singh factor at play, or driven by his diehard anti-Congressism, Mulayam’s utterances have hurt Akhilesh most, who has made a huge compromise to form an anti-BJP alliance in Uttar Pradesh by showing unprecedented generosity to his erstwhile political rival BSP. Akhilesh is in a catch-22 situation — if he speaks against his father he would be ridiculed and if he does not, his rank and file and core Muslim voters get confused.
Mulayam earned notoriety for taking U turns with alacrity compelling CPM leader Prakash Karat to once call him as “most untrustworthy leader in Indian politics”.