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Akhilesh vs. Mulayam: Reality Or Scripted Drama?

The big hero, of course, is Akhilesh.

03/01/2017 3:16 PM IST | Updated 06/01/2017 12:20 PM IST
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The politics of Uttar Pradesh has often kept political pundits and expert analysts on their toes. It is as interesting as it's unpredictable. Indeed the current political scenario in Uttar Pradesh can at best be described in the words of Winston Churchill who once said, "Politics is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year and to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn't happen."

Uttar Pradesh has the unique distinction of giving India the greatest number of Prime Ministers out of all the states. It also once had a chief minister who became only the second living leader to have erected her own statues, the first one being Saddam Hussain. Another former CM once termed rape as "a mistake" boys make.

Akhilesh is being projected as the poor obedient leader of the youth who is sacrificing his personal relations and position in the party for the greater good of state.

From a sitting CM being unceremoniously removed from his post of party chief to a powerful woman politician being threatened with rape inside the State Guest House, the politics of UP has seen it all.

First things first—the political field of Uttar Pradesh is no one's home ground. Winning their own Lok Sabha seat is considered a cakewalk for incumbent Prime Ministers, but UP once robbed Indira Gandhi of this privilege as well.

Now coming to the present tug of war going on in Uttar Pradesh, it is really tough to segregate drama from reality.

There could be two ways of looking at it.

First would be to take it at face value and believe everything that's happening to be "real." But with someone as politically experienced as Mulayam Singh Yadav at the core of it, it would be a mistake to think of the recent friction as entirely spontaneous. Since the inception of the Samajwadi Party, Mulayam Singh Yadav has hobnobbed with and backstabbed almost all the bigwigs of contemporary politics. He left Mamata Banerjee in the lurch during last Presidential elections, moved out of the grand alliance of Bihar at the last moment and has in the past made coalitions with the BSP, Congress, RLD and whoever else made political sense at the time. Being so adept in his game, he cannot be viewed as being naïve enough to not understand the political implications of sacking his own son and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav from the party.

So, the second option is to view recent events as a politically scripted drama to get the upper hand in the upcoming assembly elections.

Now before analysing who gains what from this entire hullabaloo, here is a summary of everything that transpired in the SP pari(w)ar.

Shivpal and Akhilesh are having administrative differences. Chacha considers Bhatija to be disobedient; Bhatija thinks Chacha is favouring the corrupt. Both wield their powers in party and government respectively to suspend, reinstate and demean each other's loyalists. Things escalate and they jump at each other. Akhilesh sacks Shivpal from his ministerial berth. Things go completely out of hand on the issue of ticket distribution and Akhilesh Yadav, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, is thrown out of the party by his own father.

Through this drama Akhilesh will become a winner even before contesting. The SP is betting on this image to stay in the people's mind.

To all those concerned, Shivpal's clout and image in Uttar Pradesh is an unsaid truth. Everyone knows the door they need to knock on for transfers, promotions, selections in state government posts, etc.

On the contrary, Akhilesh is being projected as the poor obedient leader of the youth who is sacrificing his personal relations and position in the party for the greater good of the state. He is the messiah of the masses who is completely against corruption.

Yet no politician worth its salt would ever willingly let go of power.

So the looming question remains the same, is it drama or is it reality?

In my opinion, if it is drama then it is in its last leg. This chapter is entirely dedicated to show the authority and power of Akhilesh Yadav. This is obvious in the way Akhilesh Yadav's suspension was revoked. Shivpal Yadav will go into oblivion, sacrificing his personal aspirations in favour of the people's will. In other words, the Samajwadi Party is playing its own primaries, albeit scripted, on the lines of the US presidential election. With media glare and constant focus, Akhilesh will gain the necessary traction and emerge as a winner even before the real elections. It is probably to convince the people how incorruptible and immensely loved Chhote Netaji is.

In the time of "notebandi" it is the best free promotion and advertisement that anybody can ask for.

The reason why telecasts of election polls have been banned during the voting process is because people do tend to vote for a person who seems to be winning. Here through this drama, Akhilesh will become a winner even before contesting. The SP is betting on this image to stay in the people's mind.

In the time of "notebandi" it is the best free promotion and advertisement that anybody can ask for.

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