thumping victory. No one could have possibily missed the slogans rending the air amidst holi revelry in Mulayam's ancestral village Saifai, projecting Mulayam as the future Prime Minister of India.
‘Akhilesh Yadav is the new ‘Yuvraj’ of UP
“You have to remain a unified and disciplined force to capture power at the Centre," Mulayam had told revellers there to celebrate the twin celebrations.
On reaching Delhi on Sunday, Mulayam, however, remained non-committal on the formation of the third front, his cherished dream for long. But back home his close buddy Azam Khan was candid enough to admit their preference for a non-Congress, non-BJP government at the Centre. Mulayam’s brother Prof Ram Gopal Yadav also said, “If Dewa Gowda could be Prime Minister, why not Mulayam Singh Yadav?”
The convincing victory of the Samajwadi Party in the state, after years of political wilderness, has renewed the hopes of the party workers of ruling the country.
“The road to central throne goes via UP,” they say in direct reference to the political clout of the state with the largest number of Lok Sabha seats in the country.
Those who are close to Mulayam give two reasons against his joining the UPA government at this critical juncture. One, the party is not in a mood to join the scam hit UPA government lying on the death bed. Two, Mulayam would not take an independent decision without debating its pros and cons.
According to them, Mulayam has not become chief minister as the party is all set to project him as the future Prime Minister in the 2014 elections.
“With Mamata playing truant, the UPA has no option but to bank on Mulayam to survive the budget sesssion. But bailing the government out primarily to keep off the saffron forces is different from pursuing one’s own political agenda, which as of now is, emerging as a third force,” they say adding, nothing suits the party better than early elections -- a reason why Mulayam may not accept the Congress offer to join the Union Cabinet.
He has been quite cut off with the treatment meted out to him by the party high command despite their unilateral support to the UPA government. Moreover, he doesn’t trust the Congress.
“We will not get less than 55 Lok Sabha seats if early elections were held in the state,” says senior party leader Ambika Choudhary.
Much ahead of the polls, Choudhary had predicted a Congress rout in UP, “Watch my words. Just as Nitish had shown the door to the Congress in Bihar, we will do it in UP.” At that time, there were few takers for his words.
Choudhary says, “Congress pulled out all stops to win UP but failed. And they will not win the general election from here either despite the common belief that people favour national parties in the Lok Sabha elections. We will win 55 seats on the basis of our one-year long performance in the state coupled with the failures of the UPA government. People would want the UP model of governance at the centre.”
According to him, the tottering UPA government could also fall as its allies would want to join a socialist government or group. Though there is no name or shape of that front, regional forces will come together to give the country a non BJP-non Congress government.
The party leaders are, however, reticent when it comes to why Mulayam and not Nitish or Mamata for the top slot. Their confidence, needless to say, comes from the number game – the leader with maximum seats would have a larger claim to the throne and none of the partners would have that if the SP manages to win 50 odd seats.
The Samajwadi Party’s similar slogan projecting Mulayam as next Prime Minister of the country had worked in the 2004 general election. The party had won 35 seats polling about 26 percent votes. That he didn't become PM was another matter!