Disenchantment With SP Among Yadavs Puts Akhilesh Yadav On A Slippery Ground
Three recent events highlight that the most loyal votebank of the Samajwadi Party may be having second thoughts about the organisation.
Losses in elections since 2014 have begun to take a toll on Samajwadi Party’s support among its core support, the Yadavs.
A strong indication of the shift has come from the change in the leadership of All India Yadav Mahasabha.
Established in 1924, Yadav Mahasabha’s presidents have come majorly from the state of Uttar Pradesh.
In recent decades, it played a major role in ensuring SP’s patriarch, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s centrality in UP politics. However, that seems to be changing under his son and SP’s third time president, Akhilesh Yadav.
Recently, according to this report, the Mahasabha organised its annual meeting in Gujarat, and elected Sagun Ghosh from Bengal as National President and BSP MP Shyam Singh Yadav as Executive Chairman.
After a long time, someone other than an SP leader or someone considered close to the party has assumed this crucial position in the organisation.
Another indication of matters slowly slipping out of Akhilesh Yadav’s hand, is that the family of Harmohan Singh Yadav has distanced itself from the patriarch’s past association with the SP.
Harmohan Singh, considered a close confidante of Mulayam Singh Yadav, served the Yadav Mahasabha as its chairman several times. He was instrumental in establishing Mulayam Singh as the leader of the Yadav community.
On his 10th death anniversary, Harmohan Singh’s son and Rajya Sabha MP on SP ticket, Sukhram Singh Yadav, invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Nobody from Mulayam Singh’s family was in attendance, sending out a clear signal of distancing from the SP clan.
Another incident that indicates Yadavs' disconnect with the SP is the unveiling of the statue of freedom fighter, Mahashay Tejpal ji, in Noida in August 2022. His son and president of the Rashtriya Parivartan Dal, D.P. Yadav, organised the event.
It was attended by leaders from all major parties in UP, including by BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj. However, once again, SP leaders not part of the celebrations.
The latest buzz in the state is also that a significant section of the SP’s Yadav base is sliding towards the Bhartiya Janata Party, with the latter making serious overtures to garner support.
The BJP, in 2022 state elections, had won 18 of the 29 seats in the Yadav-dominated areas that included districts such as Mainpuri, Etawah, Etah, Kasganj, Firozabad, Auriya, Kannauj and Farrukhabad. The was able to win only 10 seats. In 2012, SP had won 25 out of 29 seats while BJP had bagged only one.
The BJP’s strong push to stake a claim on Yadav vote bank comes from a position of advantage. Aiming for all 80 Lok Sabha seats from UP in the 2024 general elections, the party seems determined to make an aggressive pitch not only towards the Yadav community but also towards Pasmanda Muslims, both considered traditional voters of the SP.
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