Mulayam surprises none

The Samajwadi Party is not even a notional electoral force in Bihar

Those who have followed the trajectory of Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav’s politics over the years are unlikely to be surprised by his last-minute letting down of the so-called grand alliance in Bihar — the recently created front of chief minister Nitish Kumar, former chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, and the depleted Congress — that proposes to challenge the BJP-led NDA in the Assembly election in a few weeks from now.

Mr Yadav has, after all, shown a remarkable capacity to be on the right side of those wielding power at the Centre. That marks him out as a practical politician who can be said to be truly ideology-free in spite of leading a party with the name tag of “socialist”. The Samajwadi Party is not even a notional electoral force in Bihar. To that extent, the protestation of the SP that it was humiliated by the major alliance partners with too small an offer of seats to contest is as lame an explanation as one might expect to encounter.

The wider meaning of SP’s decision pertains to Uttar Pradesh where state polls are due next year. If SP joins a front in Bihar which has Congress in it, it believes in Uttar Pradesh its claim to be the leading “secular” force, and from that vantage point its belittling of the Congress, may be diluted. In the landscape of Uttar Pradesh, and in the long-term perspective, Mr Yadav still sees the Congress as its principal adversary.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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