As the anarchist uproar in ruling Samajwadi Party takes a new turn everyday, the BJP’s mammoth Parivartan Rally held at Ramabai Maidan of Lucknow on January 2 indicates to the change the state is heading for the Assembly polls
Dr Shakti Kumar Pandey from Lucknow
The two remarkable events and developments that are going to influence the course of politics in Uttar Pradesh tremendously have taken place in Lucknow on January 1st and 2nd respectively – the crowning of Akhilesh Yadav as Samajwadi party (SP) chief by his unruly supporters and the mammoth crowd rallying behind Narendra Modi in Rama Bai Maidan of Lucknow to express their solidarity with the leader post-demonetisation. In SP, ‘the anointing of the prince and disgraceful fall of the patriarch’ marks beginning of the end of SP rule in Uttar Pradesh.
While the slogan-shouting masses in BJP’s rally at Rama Bai Maidan were clamouring for change of rule, the anarchists’ uproar in SP was to dethrone its own founder. While the BJP is fighting to eradicate crime, corruption, communalism and hooliganism from UP, the ruling clan of SP is making a hue and cry to secure its party symbol.
While the enthusiastic BJP workers are busy educating the masses how their prospects are going to brighten with the cleansing of economy through demonetisation and implementing a speedy development plan in the state, the SP workers are creating ruckus in the party offices across the state to secure a chair for them.
The voters of UP are stunned to watch the infighting of Saifai Yadav clan that had been running the Samajwadi Party as its family business, and as now busily engaged to grab the booty as much as possible. Apprehending the chances of losing their party symbol ‘cycle’, Akhilesh and Mulayam, the father-son duo, met the other day just to find out whether a patch up is still possible. But by now everyone knows that the two factions of the SP appear to be headed for a split after the dramatic happenings of the past few days. In fact, the prospect of the party symbol being frozen by the Election Commission had brought the two warring factions to the drawing board again. As poll dates have been announced, a division in the party and freeze on the party symbol are going to render a body blow to the ruling SP. Earlier, a delegation of Akhilesh camp – Ram Gopal Yadav, Kironmoy Nanda, Naresh Agarwal and state minister Abhishek Misra–met the Election Commission officials in Delhi and staked claim over the ‘cycle’ symbol.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the other hand, was overwhelmed to see a huge multitude of people on January 2 that had descended at the Rally ground, which was choc-a-bloc with party workers. Striking an emotional chord with the people, he addressed them, saying that “I have never addressed such a big crowd. Never before I have seen such a huge rally, not even in my 2014 election campaign.” He informed that at 10 am when he was in a meeting in New Delhi, he was shown photos by a ministerial colleague from UP about the crowd. “I was amazed. I asked whether I was late. This shows you are here since morning and by 10 am you have filled this huge ground,” PM said as crowd shouted “Modi, Modi”.
“The Rama Bai Ambedkar Maidan has a capacity to hold around 7 lakh people. This ground is considered an indicator of a party’s popularity. Other parties have therefore stopped holding rallies there because half-filled ground may give a bad impression and send wrong message among people’, said Himanshu Pandey, an event manager who was present on the occasion, trying to fathom the immensity of the rally.
The PM also could gauge the situation as he saw the ground full to its seam and people still walking in the arteries slowly moving towards the ground, and he said: “Some political pundits gauge mood swing on the basis of crowds in rallies. They predict who will win elections. After seeing this crowd I do not think it is hard to guess who will win the state.” In his speech Prime Minister even said if Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh were watching this meeting on TV they would be happy to see such a crowd. BJP’s rally got a thumbs up not only from the PM but also from the common men on the streets.
“The BJP rally indicated that the people of the state want to get rid of SP and BSP, the two regional parties known for crime, corruption and communalism”, said seventy three year-old Om Nirankar Upadhyaya, a social worker. “I have seen the rallies of Nehru, Lohiya, Charan Singh, Atal Behari Vajpayi and Mayawati; but never ever I such enormity or such enthusiasm and optimism amongst people in any rally of the past. In fact the people of UP are fed up with the misrule of SP and BSP”, he added.
A beaming BJP state president Keshav Prasad Maurya said over 10 lakh people joined the rally. People from all over the state came. Eight persons from each booth came. “A meticulous planning has helped in organising rally of such a magnitude. People started coming since last night. Their feeding and staying was arranged. It was ensured they remain warm. Bonfires were lighted at tents where they were put up for a night,” he said.
“Samajwadi Party seems to be struggling for its survival, and the BSP seems to be struggling for securing its ‘hard-earned’ money. They have no agenda of public welfare in mind”, says Vinay Mishra, an advocate at the civil court, explaining how these regional parties have turned into private limited companies, and how they have dwindled their prospects in the upcoming polls.
Even as Mulayam Singh Yadav, the patriarch of SP is struggling hard to regain the control of the party, most of trusted colleagues whom he had groomed in last three decades have deserted him and joined the rival camp led by his son. They say it’s the high time for Mulayam Singh Yadav to handover the mantle of the party to his son and act as his guide. Kironmoy Nanda, vice president of the party and Rajya Sabha MP, extended the most crucial help to Akhilesh Yadav in providing legal validity to the national delegate convention here on January 1.
Unsure of his control over the party, Mulayam cancelled the proposed emergency national convention proposed to be held on January 5 at the same venue, Janeshwar Mishra Park. n