Published On:09 March 2012
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

UP POLLS 2012 ANALYSIS: Akhilesh Yadav succeeds where Rahul Gandhi failed

By Mohammad Shahid Parvez

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh, it seems has bid good bye to the coalition era. It was BSP in 2007 and this time it is SP all the way. Belying all predictions of a hung Assembly in the state the Samajwadi Party has raced to power crushing everything that came in its way. By securing a comfortable majority with 224 seats out of total 403 in its kitty the party not only pushed the ruling BSP with 79 seats to a distant second but also forced the two national parties, Congress and BJP, to bite dust in the state. The two national parties fared much below expectations though the former marginally improved its tally to 28 from 22 in the outgoing assembly. The BJP however suffered a setback securing 47 seats, a few seats less than what it secured in 2007 elections.

A number of factors can be attributed to the success of SP government in the elections. The people’s disenchantment with the BSP government and return of Muslim voters to the party coupled with aggressive campaigning by Akhilesh Yadav all worked in favour of the party. Large scale corruption in Maya government with about half of its ministers facing charges of corruption, many of them indicted by the Lok Ayukta dented the BSP image beyond repair. Coupled with this the land grabbing and squandering of public money on erecting statues and memorials by the BSP chief alienated the people from the party. But Mayawati instead of seeing the writing on the wall made herself inaccessible to public ruling only through a few of her trusted bureaucrats. Although Mayawati tried to refurbish her image by sacking over 25 of her tainted ministers and MLAs on the eve of elections but it was too and failed to convince the people. They thought that the Chief minister who slept for her entire tenure allowing her minister to plunder the state could not escape the responsibility and decided to vote her out.

But what was the option. The Congress and BJP were not fighting to form government in the state but regain some of their lost ground. Both the parties faced leadership crisis in the state. The BJP tried to fill the void created by the exit of Kalyan from the party. But the move did more harm than good to the party because it annoyed the state leaders. For the Congress Rahul was the loan campaigner. He initially succeeded to some extent in galvanizing the youth but failed because of the lack of a strong cadre and absence of a state level leader who could be projected as its chief ministerial candidate. Its prospects were further marred by the irresponsible statements of its leaders on Batla House encounter and reservation. On the contrary the Samajwadi Party was the only party with a strong cadre and a state level youth icon in Akhilesh that could defeat BSP and fulfill the aspirations of the people.

It goes to the credit of Akhilesh Yadav that his firm determination and hard work enthused a new spirit among his party cadres.It is said that in failure lies the seed of success. Akhilesh took his wife’s defeat in Firozabad byelection to heart. He then vowed to avenge the defeat by making the party a force to reckon with in the state. And he relentlessly worked to achieve his goal making reforms in Lohia Vahini and other frontal organizations as president of the state party making the party fighting fit for the polls. His humility and honesty during campaigns despite all provocations and his rejection of DP Yadav’s entry into the party further boosted his image as a youth leader who could be trusted. Naturally, Akhilesh Yadav succeeded where Rahul Gandhi failed.

Another factor that contributed to SP’s success is the return of Muslim voters to the party without which the success would not have been possible. Muslims who got annoyed with the party for hobnobbing with the Kalyan perhaps saw some sincerity in Mulayam’s frantic apologies and forgave him. Although Congress move giving 4.5 per cent reservation and promising more after elections did not cut much ice with the community because it was too little too late. They rejected the party also because it sat on Sachchar Committee report for years and was responsible for the RTE. The success of the Mulayam’s party also brings home the fact that Muslims are the real king makers in the state. It also conveys the message to all parties, including the Congress and Muslim outfits that they can no more play on the sentiments of the community.

Last but not least is the fact that in the post-Amar era Mulayam distanced himself from industrialists and the film actors and once again donned the mantle of Dhartiputra that was lost in the glamour of film industry. Adopting the policy of forget and forgive he brought back some of his old colleagues to the party. This change over of image too went well with the voters.

[Mohammad Shahid Parvez is former News Editor, National Herald, Lucknow. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Uttar Pradesh). He can be contacted at mshahidparvez@gmail.com]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on March 09, 2012. Filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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