Always a star campaigner for his party, the Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav has surprised many with a lean appearance. While the campaigning for Uttar Pradesh has seen flurry of rallies from Prime Minister Modi to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, from BJP chief Amit Shah, ministers in central government to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, Mulayam Singh stepped out only twice.
The three-time Chief Minister of the most populous and politically crucial state this time campaigned for just his younger daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav and his brother Shivpal Singh Yadav. Far less than over 300 rallies he addressed in 2012 assembly polls.
Prior to this tightly contested polls, the ruling Samajwadi Party was locked in a bitter tussle with father-son due slugging it out to claim the reigns of the party. The dust, however, has settled now, at least assures party’s first family.
But his political rivals said the SP patriarch’s clout has been “confined to just two” of the 403 assembly seats in the state.
Senior BJP leader Hriday Narayan Dikshit, said, “The moment Mulayam Singh Yadav was made the party patron, his power automatically got diluted. And, despite this, if he is getting a chance to campaign for even two assembly seats, he must thank his stars.”
“As far as the SP is concerned, earlier Mulayam Singh Yadav used to prevail, and now it is the turn of Akhilesh,” the senior BJP leader said talking of organisational transformation in politics.
Veteran socialist Raghunandan Singh ‘Kaka’ feels, “The SP patron has become helpless and virtually hopeless.”
He also added that it is not only the SP workers who are worried and concerned about Mulayam Singh but people from other parties are also worried about him.
The socialist leader also had opinion on his son and now the new numero uno of Samajwadi Party.
“Akhilesh seems to have lost his way, and is yet to find a way out,” Singh told, adding the young Yadav has got diverted from the ideals of Lohia, who fought against the Congress throughout his life.
Lok Dal President Sunil Singh said it is really unfortunate that the SP, which was founded by Netaji, is today not getting his blessings. “What is more ironical is the fact that Akhilesh today has embraced the Congress, against which his father (Mulayam) had waged a political war throughout his life,” he said.
However, dismissing the view in some quarters that Mulayam’s clout was diminishing, his nephew and party MP from Badaun, Dharmendra Yadav, said, “We have the blessings of Netaji. In fact each and every candidate of the SP-Congress alliance has been blessed by Netaji. So, there is no question of Netaji’s clout getting weakened.”
(With inputs from the PTI)