Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has made the best of the Samajwadi Pari’war’ over the last few months. The young leader, said to be controlled by father and Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, has come out as a more assertive leader and a shrewd politician after his ‘coup’ in SP over the past week.
For now it seems Akhilesh has become the de facto head of the party with over 200 elected legislators rallying behind the 43-year-old leader. It seems only a matter of time before he officially takes control of the party. Akhilesh has not wasted time and moved in to take control of the party, much of whose members seem to believe it’s now time for a hand over of power and for Mulayam to call it a day.
The narrative till now has in many ways changed Akhilesh’s image from one who follows his father’s directions to one who leads according to his own decisions. It is not clear whether his acceptability would have increased among non-SP voters as an option.
Akhilesh has gone to the length of directing his followers to prepare for the election, and according to several reports, ground is being laid for his supporting MLAs to sign an affidavit to officially show their support to the CM as the leader of SP.
The party was embroiled in its family rifts and that took away voters’ confidence that SP would be able to lead in times of an imminent split. A strong leader at the helm was what the SP needed. We can safely assume that Shivpal Yadav, who may have had support of cadres, who may have years invested in the party, was never a face to lead the party to power again.
Mulayam Singh seems past his best years and Akhilesh was struggling to take over the command which his father was reluctant to give up. It was only a matter of time till Akhilesh would come forward as his own leader and not one who his family wants to be.