POLITICS

The Opposition Is Still Struggling To Get Its Act Together In Uttar Pradesh

Divided act.

15/05/2017 1:52 PM IST | Updated 15/05/2017 1:53 PM IST
SANJAY KANOJIA via Getty Images
Samajwadi Party president and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Akhilesh Yadav speaks during a press conference at his residence after defeat in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, in Lucknow on March 11, 2017.

With Uttar Pradesh in the BJP's firm grip, the opposition has still not come to terms with its rout in the assembly polls that catapulted Yogi Adityanath to power.

Ousted from power, the Samajwadi Party, which had its own share of woes before the election, is now seeing a war of words within, with rival camps locked in a bitter struggle for power.

While former Chief Minister and party President Akhilesh Yadav has indirectly hit out at his uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav, saying he knew well who was the "aasteen ke sanp" (back stabber), the latter responded with words like "nadaan" and "ahankaari" (naive, arrogant).

Akhilesh Yadav has expelled a party leader, Deepak Mishra, known to be a confidant of Shivpal Yadav. Mishra in turn accused the former Chief Minister and his aide Ram Gopal Yadav of humiliating the loyalists.

Mishra and others like him, now out of the party fold, have declared a war on the Samajwadi Party leadership. They have accused some leaders of amassing wealth and acquiring luxury sports utility vehicles even as the hardcore socialists still do with two-wheelers.

The situation is no different in the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) where supremo Mayawati has expelled former confidant Naseemuddin Siddiqui along with his "rising star" son Afzaal.

The move has triggered a quake in the party, already hit by a mutiny of sorts in the rank and file.

Siddiqui hurled serious charges against the four-time Chief Minister, alleging that she used to seek large amounts of money from party workers and even once branded Muslims "traitors".

He also accused Mayawati of not allowing him to even attend the funeral of his daughter years back and asked him to rather manage her election instead.

The former minister has released half-a-dozen damaging audio tapes suggesting that the Dalit leader was most of the time demanding money from party cadres.

Mayawati hit back in no time and called Siddiqui a "blackmailer" and an "extortionist" who had swindled a huge amount of party funds.

"He has the cheek to say he was a party loyalist. How can he be when he was secretly recording the conversations of the party president?" she asked.

Siddiqui alleged that Mayawati wanted to get a senior leader murdered -- and pledged to furnish "proof" for this soon.

Former BSP leader and now a minister in the Adityanath government, Swami Prasad Maurya, said the sins of the Dalit diva were catching up with her.

While there is no rebellion in the Congress ranks, district presidents are unhappy about the alliance it forged with the Samajwadi Party in the assembly elections.

They accused the party high command of forcing the decision on them.

The Congress was the worst sufferer among the three parties in the assembly elections.

With the opposition bogged down by ugly bickering, the BJP government is having a field day.

There have been caste conflicts, stray incidents of communal violence, cow vigilantes thrashing people and soaring crime. But there is hardly any opposition to take on the government. As of now.

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