Akhilesh’s silence on Muslims’ issues snowballing into a crisis

| | Lucknow
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Akhilesh’s silence on Muslims’ issues snowballing into a crisis

Sunday, 17 April 2022 | PNS | Lucknow

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav’s conspicuous silence on issues concerning Muslims is gradually snowballing into a crisis in his party.

The growing resentment among the Muslim rank and file of the SP, proximity of Shivpal Singh Yadav and several other leaders of the Samajwadi Party to the Bharatiya Janata Party seems to have aggravated the situation.

The loyalists of Akhilesh Yadav have termed his silence “strategic”, adopted ahead of UP assembly elections to prevent the BJP’s politics of religious polarisation and also retain the support of other social groups.

The disgruntled Muslim leaders, however, maintain that this strategy failed to yield dividends and it is time for the party to speak up and lead the battle from the front.

The disgruntled section of the Samajwadi Party claims that Akhilesh Yadav's silence on serious political issues has led to the impression that he is under pressure of the ruling party which has targeted the opposition leaders through central investigation agencies.

In 2007, the central investigation agency had registered a case of disproportionate assets against SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and his family members, including Akhilesh Yadav and his wife, Dimple Yadav. The court subsequently dropped the case against Dimple Yadav, but cases against others are still pending before a special CBI court in New Delhi.

The court, on April 2, asked the CBI to file its final affidavit in the case, which is now on the verge of being transferred to another special CBI court that deals exclusively with cases relating to MPs and MLAs.

A senior SP leader said, “The sudden revival of the proceedings in the case might be the reason for the silence of Akhilesh Yadav.”

The SP leader pointed out that “despite the ground swell of resentment against the Yogi Adityanath government, Akhilesh Yadav launched the campaign rather late against the BJP’’.

Samajwadi Party was eventually able to put up a reasonably good fight. Even though the SP could not come even near the striking distance from power, it managed to significantly improve its tally by winning 111 seats against 47 in 2017. The SP allies Rashtriya Lok Dal and Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) won 14 won seats. The UP assembly has 403 seats.

The results were undoubtedly far below Akhilesh Yadav’s expectations, and it is understandable for him to take some time before getting over the shock of the electoral debacle. But even after more than a month of the results, he seems to not be rising to the occasion on issues that ought to have charged him up.

It was widely expected in the party and political circles that Akhilesh Yadav, after resigning from the Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat and retaining the Karhal assembly seat, would take the plunge and lead the party from the front as leader of opposition in UP assembly. However, over a month after UP assembly elections, Akhilesh Yadav has maintained a low profile while his party men eagerly await for the road map for the next battle -- Lok Sabha elections in 2024.

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