The Samajwadi Party (SP) has a unique way of dealing with things when the going is not so good. The party patriarch and undisputed leader Mulayam Singh Yadav will chastise , usually publicly, his son and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. While this gives an impression that the SP supremo means business, invariably nothing much gets resolved until the next crisis. From day one, there has been an internal tussle between the old guard and the young chief minister with the latter having to concede ground to the former on more than one occasion at the instance of his father.
In the latest father-son slugfest, Mulayam Singh has weighed in on the side of his brother Shivpal Yadav, a senior minister who is apparently unhappy with the continuance of corrupt leaders and officers in the administration.
It is passing strange that Mulayam Singh has not been able to deal with crisis, ie seek through the proper channels the removal of the corrupt officials and leaders if he wants to. In the past, he has refused to act against people like Azam Kham who have repeatedly brought disgrace to the party with their ugly comments and actions.
While there was a severe cold wave in UP last year, several UP ministers and MLAs went on a junket around Europe and Dubai. When questioned, Azam Khan sought to communalise the issue saying that people could not bear to see a Muslim representing India abroad.
This was all the more incredulous considering all the photographs of the trip showed the political worthies sailing around rivers in Europe on luxury boats and staggering out of shops weighed down by packages.
With elections coming up, the SP will have to do much more than engage in these worn gimmicks. The crime rate in UP is going up, the Bulandshar rape has hit national headlines. The death of a baby because his parents could not pay a bribe at a government hospital also made headlines. Instead of dealing with these problems, the rape was sought to be politicised by the SP and other parties.
As long as the CM is in the saddle, it is counterproductive for him to be publicly upbraided by his own party chief and father. This can only create a further crisis of confidence in the SP and among the people.