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Millennium Post

Race to capture the throne

The state of Uttar Pradesh is of paramount importance keeping in view the post election scenario
in 2014. The state with 80 Lok Sabha seats is being looked at as the most fertile land, where major
political parties have been devising strategies to win the maximum number of seats in race to
capture the throne. As of now the two political parties in the state are better placed because as they had succeeded in making inroads across the state. Further Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had been able to prove their respective mettle by winning an absolute majority in the assembly elections in 2012 and 2007 respectively. Both parties have become state level parties and moreover parties surviving on the personality cult of their respective leader.

The other two parties, the Congress and the BJP, had flourishing past and were able to get majority in the Assembly elections at least once. The oldest party in the country, Indian National Congress, got majority number of times whereas a right wing, saffron party riding on the Ram wave could win majority only once. Both the Congress and the BJP have been striving hard to revive their prospects in the state. The BSP supremo Mayawati and the SP chief Mulayam Singh, both have been nurturing their ambition of becoming the prime minister by capturing 50 to 60 Lok Sabha seats in the upcoming general election. With so many seats in their kitty, they would have a formidable bargaining power to either give a feasible shape to an alliance or raise another alliance, say the third front and fourth front. Of course, UP produced eight prime ministers though most of them could get this coveted post due to their towering personality and mass appeal across the country.

But the present political situation is different, hence, the leaders would have to be foresighted and
calculative enough to realise their aspirations by properly and tactfully ploughing the fertile political
land in the state where level field is impossible. Both the BSP and the SP, during the regime of UPA-I and UPA-II, supported the government at the Centre and continued to fiercely fight each other in the
state. They would have to chalk out their different strategies for 2014 Mahabharata. Despite both
parties boasting of their assured caste support, they are also concerned of harnessing the minority
i.e. Muslim support. It is unlikely that either of these two parties would have any pre-poll alliance
in the state for 2014 battle. They once had a mutual alliance in 1990s for the Assembly election
and had bitter experiences. Since then they have turned out to be arch rivals. Both parties may cite
different grounds and reasons to secure the maximum minority
votes.

The BSP may negotiate with different communities to cobble the new social engineering whereas SP may consolidate Muslim Yadav doctrine. They have many Muslim faces to bank upon though the SP would never like to lose Azam Khan, a prominent minority face of the party. Mulayam Singh would continue to ignore ruckuses created by Azam Khan from time to time as the SP chief will never like to annoy him as minority support is crucial for Mulayam to emerge as a serious claimant of the top executive post of the country.

Azam Khan, 65, is a two time cabinet minister and once leader of the opposition in the Assembly.
He is also the lifetime Chancellor of Maulana Ali Jauhar University, Rampur conceived and developed solely by him. Azam is known as an outspoken person and his commitment towards his community in the state. Recently he got annoyed in the background of the clashes in and around Muzaffarnagar, avoided cabinet meetings and was instigated by the party general secretary, Ram Gopal Yadav to resign from the cabinet but was cajoled by Mulayam and even the Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Akhilesh visited the residence of Azam to overcome tension. Azam was expelled after his tiff
with Jayaprada from the party for six years during 2009 Lok Sabha elections and was brought back
to the party in 2010. He resigned on moral grounds from the cabinet when 40 persons died at Allahabad railway station during the Maha Kumbh Mela though he was persuaded to withdraw his
resignation.

He was functioning as the chairman of Maha Kumbh Mela at that time. He was invited by the universities in the US to give presentation on arrangements of Kumbh Mela. Adam said that
he was being questioned at the airport only because of he is a Muslim, who brought criticism
to his party. Azam was rescued by the Indian Embassy staff. He had always remained in the headlines due to his attitude and blunt statements, may it be on Party’s association with Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid or his removal from the post of minister in charge of Meerut division.

Every time the sulking Azam forced the party to reconcile. He was never ready to follow the whims of the party. Azam is now becoming an indispensable part as Mulayam is aware of his utility.

The author is a communication consultant
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