Four months after UP defeat, Akhilesh Yadav going back to battle to launch SP campaign
Akhilesh Yadav will launch the Samajwadi Party campaign on the Kranti Diwas -- August 9 -- from the temple town of Ayodhya.Updated: Aug 04, 2017, 14:32 IST
Four months after the UP assembly election debacle and continued tensions within the party, SP president Akhilesh Yadav is finally getting battle-ready.
Leading from the front, Akhilesh has blown the bugle to attack the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh by launching a state wide campaign ‘Desh Bachao, Desh Banao’.
Akhilesh will launch the campaign on the historic August Kranti Diwas (August 9) from the temple town of Ayodhya. On August 9, 1942, Quit India Movement was launched with the aim to end the British rule in India.
After a crushing defeat at the hands of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in UP assembly election, Akhilesh was in a passive mode and the SP did not organise any campaign against the new government.
Leaving behind the defeat and sidestepping prickings from the rival camp within the party led by his uncle and SP MLA Shivpal Yadav, Akhilesh is set to hold the first national convention of the party in September-end.
Akhilesh, who is set to be elected the national president of the party for five years, is looking forward to make the party campaign a prologue to the convention.
The campaign will focus on “the rising crime graph, unemployment, price hike and corruption in the BJP government”.
Akhilesh will kick off the campaign by holding a rally in Ayodhya in which he will unveil a statue of freedom fighter and socialist leader Raj Bali Yadav on the occasion of his death anniversary.
“Party leaders have been asked to galvanise workers and stage demonstration to highlight the state government’s failure on all fronts,” said an office-bearer of the party.
Taking pot shots at the SP’s agitation plan, BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said: “It is good that Akhilesh Yadav finally remembered Lord Ram in whichever way it is”.
The SP has already extended support to the ongoing agitation by BTC (basic training certificate) teachers and shiksha mitras after the Supreme Court struck down their appointment.
SP spokesperson Rajendra Chowdhary on Wednesday condemned the police lathi-charge on agitating students of Lucknow University and Allahabad University. He said it was an example of how the state government was trying to suppress dissenting voices.
The SP will also send a five-member delegation to Pratapgarh to meet the family of the victims of police violence. The panel has been asked to submit a report to the party president on August 5.
Plan for grand convention
National convention of the Samajwadi Party will set the ball rolling for re-organisation and consolidation of the party after it elected Akhilesh as the national president replacing Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Akhilesh has already purged the party of most of the Shivpal loyalists and is letting some senior ones leave on their own.
An emergency convention of the party was called on January 1 this year when Akhilesh was elected the SP president. The convention to be held in September with be the regular one.
Since its inception in 1992, the SP had been electing the president for three years but under Akhilesh, the party amended its constitution making it a five-year term.
There has been heightened tension between the Akhilesh-led SP and the Shivpal-Mulayam faction since the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) announced Ram Nath Kovind as its candidate for the post of the president. While the SP officially supported UPA’s presidential candidate Meira Kumar, the Shivpal faction supported Kovind.
Akhilesh has stopped making counter-attacks on Shivpal faction. Instead of blaming Shivpal, Akhilesh held the BJP responsible for the resignation of two of its MLCs who subsequently joined the saffron fold.
“Akhilesh ji knows how to struggle. He emerged victorious in the family feud and is now focused on the re-organisation of the party,” said an Akhilesh aide.
The party has already completed its one-and-a-half month long membership drive on June 30.
By October 7, the party will have to submit its organisational structure to the Election Commission of India.
Will Akhilesh be the Opposition’s rallying point?
After the convention, the Samajwadi Party (SP) will reposition Akhilesh as the rallying point for the entire opposition in the state.
“The Congress is already a friend. After the convention, the SP will begin a new journey with renewed vigour. Akhilesh ji has been warning the ruling party to imagine what would happen if SP, Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) unite,” an SP leader said.
Despite opposition from Mulayam, Akhilesh struck an alliance with the Congress and in the recent presidential polls, SP, BSP and Congress supported UPA’s candidate Meira Kumar.