Akhilesh remaining in the shadows baffle pundits

| | Lucknow
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Akhilesh remaining in the shadows baffle pundits

Wednesday, 16 September 2020 | PNS | Lucknow



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Even as the last few months have been among the best for the opposition in a long time due to the coronavirus pandemic leading to reverse migration of millions of workers, mismanagement in Covid hospitals and law and order, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav has been conspicuous by his absence. Though he has been hyperactive on social media daily, taking on the UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for the “lapses” of the government, for the political observer Akhilesh’s actions were more like of am “internet troll”’ than an active politician like the UP Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu, who has made a record of sorts for being arrested by the UP police in last six months.
“There is no dearth of issues, from the ruling party only Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is the sole face while the rest of the leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party is missing in the districts, yet the Samajwadi Party was seen nowhere to fill the gap and making any overt projection of speaking up against its political rivals,” said a political analyst.
A SP leader, now marginalised, said, “Where is the army of youth supporters of Akhilesh who vowed to sacrifice their lives for the party? If the party fails to galvanise the cadre and take to the streets, then it may have to pay a heavy price during the 2022 UP assembly elections.”
He added, “The BJP has given crushing defeats to the SP in three consecutive elections in 2024, 2017 and 2019.”
The SP leader maintained that the party should be aggressively visible as next assembly elections ware less than two years away.
The laying of the foundation stone of the Ram temple at Ayodhya by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 5 has added to the ideological woes of the SP and its president. The SP, in a knee-jerk reaction, attempted to return to its favourite fort of identity politics. But that did not work.
“The fulcrum of politics has moved from identity to development politics and credit goes to the BJP for replacing the identity politics with inclusive politics. The core supporters of the Samajwadi Party — Yadavs and Muslims — are not enthused by the announcement of the Akhilesh Yadav that his party would erect the statue of Parashuram and Lord Vishnu. One SP leader in Ayodhya criticised the Ram temple saying he follows only Dr Ambedkar and Jyotiba Phule. He was immediately sacked from the post in the organisation,” said Dr AK Verma, a political analyst, adding, “This shows the prevailing confusion over ideology and lack of political vision  in politics and particularly for the 2022 UP assembly elections.”
Dr Verma said, “Apart from the initial euphoria around Akhilesh Yadav, given his youth, nothing much has worked in his favour. He became too used to crutches — first his father Mulayam Singh Yadav and uncles, then the Congress and then the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and now without a pole, he seems rudderless. His remaining in the shadows at this crucial juncture is not quite helping matters.
“In present day competitive politics, working quietly and behind-the-scenes is no longer the norm for any ambitious leader. One has to be loudly heard and widely seen in this era of hyper-communicative, hyper-visible and hyper-connected politics, especially for someone like Akhilesh, who needs to put his not-so-glorious recent past behind, reinvent himself and project the image of being a strong challenger to the BJP,” concluded Dr Verma.
Political observers feel that with the UP assembly election due early 2022, this is the time for Akhilesh Yadav to build his political acumen and reinvent himself and his party. His ability to lead the party is already under cloud as the SP has suffered three successive defeats in 2014 Lok sabha polls, 2017 UP assembly elections and 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

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