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What is Mulayam?s cause of concern?

WHAT EXACTLY is troubling Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav? Has he launched a campaign for the Assembly election? Or is he on his way to retrieve ?lost political ground?? Whatever the case may be, he does seem to be in a hurry! He might have denied that his government was ?on its way out? due to vociferous opposition by rival parties, especially the Congress, but Yadav virtually kicked off a ?campaign? for the forthcoming Assembly election and also a long drawn battle against Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

india Updated: Jan 01, 2006 21:22 IST

WHAT EXACTLY is troubling Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav? Has he launched a campaign for the Assembly election? Or is he on his way to retrieve ‘lost political ground’? Whatever the case may be, he does seem to be in a hurry!

He might have denied that his government was ‘on its way out’ due to vociferous opposition by rival parties, especially the Congress, but Yadav virtually kicked off a ‘campaign’ for the forthcoming Assembly election and also a long drawn battle against Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

“All struggles have started from Poorvanchal, so I give a call for a bigger fight against the Congress and other rivals from Varanasi,” Yadav said at a public rally here on Saturday. He used the occasion to salvage his party’s image with his open criticism of mafia-cum-legislator Mukhtar Ansari and announcement of some sops, which may not sound good to his close aide, Urban Development Minister Azam Khan.

While Mukhtar announced support to his government, he became a ‘government’ in himself, especially in eastern UP, where his writ ran large till his name figured in the murder of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai.

The same CM , who allegedly shielded Mukhtar Ansari even after inciting communal violence in Mau, publicly denounced him on Saturday. It was clear that Yadav was in no mood to order a CBI inquiry into Rai’s killing and his government was now determined to nail Ansari in the murder case. “He (Mukhtar) is a blot on his family,” Yadav said, adding quickly that his brother, SP MP Afzal Ansari, was innocent.

The CM’s announcement of some sops, like naming of some prominent crossings after Kashi Naresh Vibhuti Narayan Singh and installing a life-size bust, seem to be an attempt to lure a large section of the population and die-hard loyalists of the royal family.

Similarly, he chose the occasion to counter former UP CM Rajnath Singh’s tirade against him. During his indefinite dharna and Nyay Yatra, Singh accused Yadav of allowing mafia rule by shielding and promoting them.

However, it is a fact that it took Yadav over two years to realise that his government had almost nothing ‘concrete’ in the name of visible achievement of his current tenure. Instead, crime had taken the front seat and development was pushed to the back.

This was evident when his envoy senior bureaucrat T George Joseph, visited a village here and met political representatives last month and came to know of the poor state of affairs, especially inordinate delay in development projects and use of sub-standard construction material by mafia contractors.

“The mafia contractors should not be allotted contracts. I’m going to enact a legislation under which such contractors can be put behind bars,” Yadav said at the rally.

By all accounts, it seems Yadav is in a hurry. The phone-tapping case may land him and his leaders in trouble, as he apprehends. “His one-and-a-half hour speech, repeating the same things many times, raising slogans, calling for a bigger fight against the Congress and other rival parties lends credence to the apprehension that there is something which has seriously started troubling Mulayam Singh Yadav,” a political analyst said.

First Published: Jan 01, 2006 21:22 IST