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Mayawati over and out, buzz grows that Akhilesh will be CM

india Updated: Mar 07, 2012 12:42 IST

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Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati on Wednesday tendered her resignation to governor BL Joshi after facing a rout in the assembly elections.

The chief minister, apparently to avoid waiting news persons, chose to arrive from the back door of the Raj Bhawan. Mayawati's BSP faced a rout in the assembly elections managing to win only 80 seats. Her party had won 206 seats in the 2007 assembly elections.

Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party held its parliamentary board meeting to decide its chief ministerial candidate this morning. Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh will go to the governor to stake claim to form the next government in Uttar Pradesh.

Akhilesh Yadav, the 38 year-old “chhote netaji” could win a surprise nomination for the top job in UP and politically crucial state, although his father and party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav so far remains the official choice for UP’s next CM.

Tuesday’s results underscore how the country’s political landscape may be acquiring a new character. Voters are willing to go beyond caste and religion to rally behind young leaders who can speak the language of new India, but also connect to those left out of the transformational journey of this 1.2-bn-plus nation.

On his part, the suave, media-savvy, engineer-turned-politician has always maintained that only his father, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, can rightfully claim the chief minister's job. On Tuesday, as the results started flashing on television channels, he reiterated the same stance, although with a tone that was less definitive.

“The party, and everyone in the party, has the view that netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) should become the chief minister,” he said.

A large constituency within SP, however, would like to see Akhilesh in the driver's seat not just to run the government but to guide the party to Lok Sabha elections in 2014 or earlier. Mulayam too would want to hand over, but he can’t propose his son’s name for SP is a party that claims to follow a socialist ideology. There is speculation that a senior leader, someone like Azam Khan, could be roped in to propose the junior Yadav’s name as the next CM.

Khan, who was reinducted into SP over a year ago, has been the party’s face among the Muslims of UP. His return would seem to have helped the party consolidate its support among Muslims and thus win them away from BSP in a big way.

Mulayam wants Akhilesh as CMvideo

(With PTI inputs)