iconimg Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Hindustan Times
February 16, 2012
Who, in their right mind, would say anything but the fact that they will ‘go it alone’ in the ongoing electoral war being waged in Uttar Pradesh? Certainly not the four main protagonists. With 403 seats up in the air, somebody will have to give. When the hurly burly’s done, and the war is lost and won, post-poll alliances are very likely to lock in, as is being predicted, if no one party makes it on its own steam.

Take the Samajwadi Party (SP). While our money is on the main opposition party in UP, the chances of winning enough seats to rule Lucknow on its own seems unlikely with all the dispersion and atomisation of votes we are hearing. So while chief campaigner Akhilesh Yadav has driven home the point that the SP won’t team up with the Congress — the BSP and the BJP don’t seem to be on the menu whatever happens — his father, party chief and the SP’s chief ministerial candidate Mulayam Singh Yadav has injected the possibility of a post-poll alliance with the Grand Old Party.

“There is a wave in favour of the Samajwadi, which is going to form the next government in the state,” said the former CM at a rally, adding after a pregnant pause, “[But] if I see the BJP coming to power, our party can support the Congress in the state to prevent communal forces.” If there was ever a preparatory line, this was it.

The Congress and the BJP, last heard, has been fighting for the third and fourth slots in the UP elections. But with the possibility of a hung assembly, the SP has finally introduced a possibility of a tie-up with the ‘least impossible’ partner. So what if Congress mascot Rahul Gandhi has insisted that his party is not interested in an alliance with the SP come what may. The SP-Congress alliance in the 90s may have left a bad taste in the collective mouth of the Congress, but Mr Yadav clearly knows that in politics there are no permanent enemies — except perhaps, the BJP. Another possible permutation-combination: a BSP-BJP alliance, a combo tried but that didn’t work in the past.

The world after March 6 — when the UP election results are out — could indeed forget the world before that date. On our part, we promise that we won’t remind any of the parties in the fray, especially the Congress, about all those things they said when they were sure of winning a majority.