On the eve of Valentine’s Day, just a few weeks before the crucial 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the surprise support of Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav to Prime Minister Modi on Wednesday in the Parliament created enough hoo-ha in the political forum. Former Samajwadi Party chief senior Yadav praising Narendra Modi and wishing to see him back as the Prime Minister while junior Yadav a.k.a. current President of Samajwadi Party and former Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav is in an alliance with Mayawati’s BSP with an aim to defeat the BJP, came across as a probable jolt for the SP-BSP Gathbandhan in the state. Uttar Pradesh plays a key role in the government formation at the centre with the highest number of 80 Lok Sabha seats. At this climacteric period of Indian politics, it is believed by many that Yadav’s comments can result in votes being drifted away from the alliance.
Samajwadi Party’s Maharashtra unit Chief Abu Azmi spoke to Afternoon Voice and called Mulayam’s statement ‘a joke’. He expressed, “It was the last day of the Parliament and Mulayam Singh Yadav appreciating PM Narendra Modi was nothing but a joke. Samajwadi Party (SP) President Akhilesh Yadav is in an alliance with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to avoid the splitting of votes and knock out BJP in the next polls. The SP-BSP alliance is strong and there won’t be any negative impact on the partnership.”
In like manner, BSP MLA Surajpal Singh asserted, “Mulayam Singh Yadav gave an emotionally-driven statement as it was the end of the 16th Lok Sabha session. I don’t think there will be any loss to the BSP-SP alliance in the upcoming polls.”
The veteran SP leader was addressing the Lok Sabha on the final day of the Budget Session of the Parliament and congratulated the Prime Minister saying, “He has tried to take everybody along. I want to say that all members must win and come again and Narendra Modi Ji should become the Prime Minister again”. While the head of the government acknowledged his sentiment with folded hands, however, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi looked perplexed sitting next to him. It was the last Parliament session before the general elections and PM Modi in his farewell speech marked the moment noting Yadav’s praises for him as “blessings” when he took the floor to deliver his speech and said, “There is much to do and Mulayam Singh Ji has given his blessings. I am very grateful to him.”
At a time when all opposition parties across the nation are gearing up with last minute preparation for the Lok Sabha polls with efforts to forge an anti-BJP alliance or with respective formulas to defeat the saffron party, 79-year-old Mulayam’s softer tone for the ruling party draw massive applause from the BJP members both in the house and outside; posters were put up in Lucknow thanking Yadav and one of those read, “Thank you Mulayam Singh Yadav, today you reiterated the wish of 125 crore Indians in the Lok Sabha.”
BJP MP Rajendra Agrawal commented, “Everyone is talking about the SP-BSP alliance but the Gathbandhan is lousy, weak, and it is powerless. It is not going to impact the mandate for BJP.”
He went on adding, “Mulayam Singh is a matured politician who has a deep understanding of Uttar Pradesh politics. He stated that PM Modi has done a good job for the nation and he wants Modi to become the Prime Minister of India again. He congratulated Modi not once but thrice. BJP is aiming to win all the seats in the state and I am sure that we will form the government at the centre again with the blessings of Mulayam Singh Yadav.”
Commenting on Mulayam Singh Yadav’s comment, UP CM Yogi Adityanath said, “This is the truth, and the truth always triumphs. What Mulayam Ji said in the Parliament is the truth, and I think that like Mulayam Ji, his son (Akhilesh Yadav) should also accept this truth.” Contradicting senior Yadav, Congress President Rahul Gandhi was quoted, “I disagree with him. But Mulayam Singh Yadav has a role in politics and I respect his opinion.”
“Yadav has given a shocking statement! The BSP and SP talk about Secularism and Mulayam Singh giving such statements is absolutely wrong. Yadav praising the PM has made the Dalit and Muslim voters in Uttar Pradesh angry,” stated Congress MLA Varsha Gaikwad. “Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi’s Lucknow rally shows how powerful Congress is in Uttar Pradesh. On one hand, Akhilesh Yadav and BSP is asking for secular votes, and on another hand, Mulayam Singh Yadav is supporting BJP and he might tie-up with BJP,” she added.