SP boss Mulayam Singh Yadav’s efforts to put together a ‘Mahagathbandhan’ in UP before assembly polls appears to have run into rough weather with erstwhile ‘Janata Parivar’ constituents JD(U) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) wary of alliance with SP unless UP CM Akhilesh Yadav is on board.
This development comes amid reports of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi making it clear to SP that he was willing to consider a joint fight only if Akhilesh emerges as the face of SP.
A senior RLD functionary confirmed that party chief Ajit Singh was wary of entering into an alliance with Mulayam if the feud in SP’s first family continues.
“As far as we perceive, the squabble between Akhilesh and Shivpal is going to sustain. That will be unfortunate not only for a political party but also for the proposed grand alliance,” said the RLD functionary.
JD(U) member and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has said that Mahagathbandhan in UP is possible only if SP and its sworn enemy BSP come together. Nitish is apprehensive of Mulayam given his experience in Bihar where SP pulled out of the grand alliance at the last moment before the assembly polls last year.
Political experts said SP’s internal squabble was bound to push the Yadav and Muslim vote base in a deep uncertainty and thwart the chances of stopping the BJP or BSP from coming to power.
“This may also cast a shadow on SP’s alliance partners, potentially denting their prospects of finding a space in the politically crucial UP,” said a political observer.