Samajwadi rockets and Mayawati bombs have flooded the Diwali firecrackers market here with traders seeking to cash in on the highly surcharged political atmosphere in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the crucial Assembly elections barely a few months hence. Packets containing ‘Samajwadi rockets’ have the picture of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav feeding sweets to “outsider” Amar Singh, who is being dubbed as a villain in the power game in the ruling party and Yadav clan.
The cover of another cracker packet shows BSP supremo Mayawati staring furiously with words ‘Angry Bomb’ written next to her photo. ‘Akhilesh ki lari unlimited’ is another hit item with a string of 1,000 crackers. The packets carry the photograph of the Chief Minister, who is very popular among the youths and has virtually emerged as their ‘undisputed’ leader in the run-up to the Assembly elections.
“As the state braces for the battle of ballots in early 2017, the current political developments and the mood of the masses have caught our imagination,” said a roadside cracker stall owner in Hazratganj, the busy commercial hub in the state capital. The crackers are being purchased by youths and politicians as well by those finding the items fascinating, as the tussle in the Mulayam family has become the talk of the town.
The strife-torn Yadav clan has left everyone guessing whether Mulayam’s family members will celebrate Diwali together with the same mirth and enthusiasm as the crisis in the party appeared far from over.
Usually it is an atmosphere of bonhomie during festivals when the clan’s top leaders take a break from the rough and tumble of politics, and assemble in their ancestral village Saifai or in the state capital especially on occasions like Holi and Diwali, besides family functions like wedding ceremonies, engagements and house warming.
Old timers said the family had never missed any celebration at Saifai in Etawah district, notwithstanding political compulsions. But this time, they are keeping their fingers crossed.