Lucknown: The much talked about merger of Mukhtar Ansari’s Qaumi Ekta Dal with the ruling Samajwadi Party has run into rough water once again. There are reports that party chief, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s son and UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has once again stood solidly against the alliance with eastern UP’s strongman and incarcerated legislator Mukhtar Ansari.
Despite his uncle’s insistence on the importance of the merger, the UP Chief Minister went on to claim on a TV channel that this merger will never be allowed to happen.
It is intriguing, to say the least, that Akhilesh Yadav’s uncle and senior cabinet minister in his government, Shivpal Yadav had said on the same channel that the merger will take place at any cost.
This puts paid to rumors that differences had been sorted out in the party over the merger of Qaumi Ekta Dal with the Samajwadi Party. SP bosses are of the view that the merger of Mukhtar Ansari’s party in the SP will help the ruling party in the state get sizeable support from Muslims in the area. Mukhtar Ansari has widespread support in some pockets in eastern UP.
Nonetheless, the confusing signals that the uncle and nephew are sending seem to have perplexed the leadership of both the parties. Shivpal Yadav, who is known as a strategist of the party wants to complete alliance with smaller parties in areas where they enjoy sizeable support and Quami Ekta Dal being one such party has been on top of his agenda. The party not just has two MLAs in the state assembly, its influence in Varanasi, Mau and Azamgarh districts is substantial. Analysts believe that Ansari’s party is capable to turn the tide in SP’s favor in at least 12 constituencies in the forthcoming election.
Despite the contradictory stance of Akhilesh and Shivpal Yadav, both the leaders seem to be unanimous on one point. They both accept that they will not give ticket to anyone with criminal image. Shivpal who has a central role in selection of candidates has made it apparently clear that the party will not give tickets to anyone who has corruption or criminal cases pending against him/her.
On the other hand, Akhilesh has been claiming that there is no anti-incumbancy factor against his government and that he will return to power with a landslide. But the Lok Sabha elections held two years ago had seen the party almost completely washed out. BJP had run amok winning as many as 72 seats out of 80 parliamentary seats in the state.
Despite this outward show of bravado, the party knows well that Muslims who were the main factor in grabbing the power are feeling angry and cheated. Mulayam has already lost his face among Muslims. He promised 18 percent reservation to Muslims in last elections but completely forgot as soon as he grabbed the power in the most populous state in the country.