There was a time, not so long ago, when I was watching the Yadav family war with bated breath. I think most political animals across the country were. And then I stopped watching. I decided to tune out for the same reasons as I cannot bring myself to watch saas-bahu serials on television. It’s gotten too boring.
But sadly, the Yadav pariwar does still matter in Uttar Pradesh politics. And so it is that I force myself to read the headline once each day. I no longer ask for the details. You know, like asking: is Ramgopal Yadav suspended today or not? I don’t want to know who met who and who is trying to forge a compromise. I don’t want to know the body language and coded messages in the public pronouncements of Daddy Yadav, Son Yadav, Wife Yadav, Nephew Yadav and Uncle Yadav and/or Mr. Family Friend the honorary Yadav (you know who I am talking about!).
All I want to know is this : is it over yet?
As of 14:30 hrs IST on Jan 10, 2017, we know that it isn’t over.
The second thing I am watching is the clock. The cutoff is Jan 24, the last date for filing nominations for the first phase of Uttar Pradesh elections. If the SP can’t wrap up their family drama by Jan 24, their party is simply toast.
Here are the possible outcomes as I see them.
(A) Feud resolves quickly, SP+Cong alliance is formed: For the BJP, this is the worst possible outcome. Fortunately, it is also the most unlikely. If the feud has to end quickly, it means Akhilesh will be the obvious winner and the rest of the power brokers in the Yadav clan will get absolutely nothing. As such, it is hard to imagine what incentive the others might have in getting the feud resolved. If Akhilesh wins, it is clear that he won’t share. The others have a chance only if Akhilesh sinks in this election.
On the alliance front with Congress, again Pappu is proving to be BJP’s best player. It is almost surreal, but Pappu’s vacation might cost his party the election. He has just come back from a 10 day sight seeing trip (or worse…lol) from somewhere in the world and it is believed that in 5 days he will leave for an extended trip to China for some silly excuse of a conference. This leaves Akhilesh Yadav a 5 day window to resolve his party feud and seal the alliance with Congress. Tick tock. Tick tock.
(B) Feud drags on indefinitely: Easy win for BJP in this scenario. The SP workers will be busy interpreting the day to day whims and fancies of their leaders. No clarity on any issue, including candidates. When will Akhilesh Yadav campaign and when will the workers hit the ground? Worse, the nervous M vote will totally splinter in this scenario with the aim of stopping BJP somehow. This will reduce the entire election to a question of who will be No. 2: BSP or SP?
(C) Samajwadi Party splits : In this scenario, there is no doubt that Akhilesh Yadav will ally with Congress. But then begins the near hopeless task of formalizing the split. First they will need a new symbol or fight Mulayam for the old one. But the symbol is the least of their problems. The MSY faction probably has their loyalists planted at every level, waiting to sabotage Akhilesh. The Chief Minister will have to examine his party with a fine toothed comb, determine the loyalty of each office bearer and name hundreds of new ones. The state of Uttar Pradesh is simply massive. With every new appointment that the CM announces in his party, he will have to find a way to manage 5 others who were eyeing the exact same position. Can any human being accomplish this task within 15 days or less?
The comparison with the Bihar mahagathbandhan fails totally in this scenario. Lalu, Nitish and Congress sealed their alliance months in advance and campaigned in lock step for 2 months before the election. Hardly any similarity with the total chaos that will follow a party split in Uttar Pradesh. BJP winning in this case as well.
(D) SP stays united, Mulayam stays president, no alliance with Congress: In my opinion, this is the most likely thing to happen. Because it has something for every stakeholder:
Akhilesh gets to be CM candidate, stays as face of the party for the election. He doesn’t have to reorganize the entire party. The Shivpal faction gets to keep a toe in the door, because Mulayam remains party president. It’s just way too messy to split the party. Akhilesh knows he can’t afford it. The price that Mulayam will extract for keeping the party united is that Akhilesh has to drop the alliance with Congress.
And the BJP wins in this case as well. Only a Congress alliance with a united SP can save the opposition now.
As you can see, I am still working to the theory that Amit Shah and Mulayam have a deal. Let’s see: Shah wants to win UP and the only way Mulayam can keep his hold on the party is if the SP loses UP. Sounds like a perfect confluence of interests to me.
If you don’t believe me, here are two sinister creatures from the secular snake pit who have both written blogs on NDTV (where else!) in the last few days complaining about Amit Shah. First, here is Swati Chaturvedi (Brinjal) :
And here’s the other creep…the one and only Rana Ayyub.
I can sense the frustration. Why aren’t the “secular forces” uniting to keep big bad Modi away like these creeps so desperately want? Sorry seculars, it is not Amit Shah’s fault that the beloved secular leaders you have placed your bets on are so cheap and ready to do deals. You shouldn’t have bet on such cheap and compromised “leaders”. Right now, Nitish Kumar is letting you down…I know. And Mulayam Singh Yadav is letting you down too. Wait and watch…Akhilesh Yadav …the apple of your eye…will let you down one day as well. Mark my words 🙂