Embarrassed over Mulayam Singh Yadav wishing a second term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the opposition RJD-Congress combine in Bihar on Thursday sought to make light of his comment saying the Samajwadi Party patriarch had grown old and was no longer sufficiently mindful of his own utterances.Former Chief Minister Rabri Devi and ex-Union minister Tariq Anwar made statements to the effect when their reactions were sought to Yadav’s remarks during his speech Wednesday inside the Lok Sabha.
Umar ho gaya hai. Kuchh yaad nahin rahta hain. Jo bolte hain uska koi matlab nahin rahta hai (has grown old. Not able to remember things. What he says does not hold much meaning) was how Rabri Devi, RJD national vice president, responded to queries from journalists.
Incidentally, the wife of party supremo Lalu Prasad shares filial ties with the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, whose grandnephew Tej Pratap Singh Yadav is married to her daughter Rajlaxmi. When the query was posed before Tariq Anwar in his Lok Sabha constituency of Katihar, the urbane former Bihar Congress president replied with the remark umr ka takaza hai (it is because of age).
Notably, Anwar who was then with the NCP had formed an alliance with the SP in the 2015 assembly polls when both parties refused to become a part of the Mahagathbandhan comprising RJD, Chief Minister Nitish Kumars RJD and Congress which went on to win the elections with a huge majority.
Standing next to UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on the last day of the current Lok Sabha, Yadav had got carried away and remarked emotionally I wish all the sitting members return to the House after the elections.
Turning to the Prime Minister, he showered praise on Modi for taking all people along and told the BJP stalwart may you return as the Prime Minister. Owing his standing to his popularity among Muslims, besides his own Yadav community, of Uttar Pradesh the SP founder has been opposed to the BJP for much part of his long political journey.
His son Akhilesh Yadav, who has taken over the reins of the party after a bitter feud with uncle Shivpal Yadav which has left the SP patriarch disoriented, has forged an alliance with his fathers bete noire BSP supremo Mayawati to take on the BJP which had swept UP in the previous Lok Sabha polls and went on to form its government in the most populous state with a brute majority.
However, senior BJP leader and Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi hailed the SP patriarch and tweeted he spoke what he felt and his utterances have left people like Mayawati, Lalu, Sonia and Mamata Banerjee who are involved in a slander campaign against Narendra Modi exposed.
Taking potshots at Rabri Devi, Modi tweeted she is raising questions on the wisdom of Mulayam Singh Yadav. She considers her uneducated sons as the wisest persons. Earlier, when the reaction was sought on Wednesday night from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Yadav’s remarks, he had replied with a smirk I congratulate him.
Soon after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, wherein all the regional players in UP and Bihar were left drubbed, Kumar had envisaged a united Janata Parivar with SP, RJD and his own JD(U) merging together which could be headed by Yadav.
It did not materialize though arch rivals Kumar and Prasad had a short-lived alliance which ended in July 2017 with the Chief Ministers return to the NDA.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also dismissed remarks by the Samajwadi Party patriarch today, praising PM Modi in Parliament, attributing them to his old age.