Why Mulayam as the unhappy patriarch suits SP
- Trouble mounts for Sreesanth as Mumbai cops gather more evidence
- SIT to seek Supreme Court guidance on Maya Kodnani death penalty issue
- Tamil Nadu police bans Yasin Malik-linked pro-Eelam public meeting
- Kings XI Punjab end IPL 2013 campaign with a win
- Narendra Modi: India losing sheen as agricultural nation
As Samajwadi Party president, Mulayam spends a lot of his time sitting in the party office, meeting visiting partymen from across the state and listening to them. In recent months, the feedback he has been getting apparently has not been heartening. Party workers complain of drift and their neglect by ministers, not to talk of officials.
For Mulayam, this is ominous. He has been nursing hope of the SP winning enough Lok Sabha seats in 2014 to give him the leverage to emerge as prime minister of a non-Congress, non-BJP coalition. A demoralised party cadre can spoil this dream.
At the same time, the old hand at politics knows that his cause would be served better by speaking out in public rather than having a talk with his son in private. This is Mulayam's way of telling the cadres that they have his ear. This is his way of reassuring them that he cares for them, and will prod the government to change its ways. He has, in fact, stated that the party is above the government.
The CM, on his part, has tried to play down the criticism, saying Netaji (Mulayam) is an elder statesman and if he points out any shortcomings, these need to be addressed. Akhilesh has also promised "visible change" soon.
However, a quick fix is far from possible. Akhilesh may be the CM but his government is riven by many pulls and pressures. There is Mulayam himself, as a patriarch who is above everyone. Then there is Ramgopal Yadav, the party general secretary, who is another power centre, apart from smaller players. Add to this a mindset which believes that populism is a substitute for governance.
Faisal is a senior correspondent based in Lucknow, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Quake-hit and shaken, Bhaderwah spends nights in the open
- UP blast accused dies on way to jail, govt wanted to drop case against him
- Former civil aviation secy changes mind, seeks airport security exemption as EC
- BCCI suspects Gujarat players in other teams were also approached
- Police on money trail, Sreesanth in fresh trouble
- Chhattisgarh 'encounter' leaves 8 villagers dead, no Maoist link yet