Indian Politics: Dad Decides in Favor of Son
After days of suspense since the Uttar Pradesh election results were out on March 6, 2012 about who would be the next Chief Minister—dad or sonny dear—the Samajwadi (Socialist) Party decided in favor of son Akhilesh Yadav on March 10, 2012. A decision which was obviously taken with the express consent of the most powerful veteran political leader of Uttar Pradesh as well as of India, dad Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Uttar Pradesh is the largest state, the largest state-economy and the most populous state of India. This makes it the most politically strategic state of India. And yet, the main ruling political party (Congress) of India had never done well here in all kinds of elections. Uttar Pradesh is also a state where feudal values are still held high with murders, riots, crimes against women and the like being the order of the day. These reasons were found to be compelling enough for Rahul Gandhi—the dynamic young leader of Congress—to start an intensive poll campaign for State Elections-2012 generating unprecedented media hype. His immediate objective was to oust the scam-ridden feudalistic rule of Mayawati.
Samajwadi Party (SP) that was thrown out of power by Mayawati in 2007 saw a golden opportunity to pitch in to come back to power. Though SP had also been considered as feudalistic as Mayawati’s and a party consisting of goons, they this time had found a young, educated and somewhat liberated leader in Akhilesh Yadav who jumped into the fray with a well planned and down-to-earth poll campaign. To make matters electric he also had an old score to settle with Rahul Gandhi.
Mayawati got thrown out unceremoniously, but the benefit of the doubt went fully to SP instead of Congress. The final results defied all predictions of a hung assembly and SP got a clear majority of 224 in a house of 403 members. And the suspense of ‘Who will become the Chief Minister’ started.Continued on the next page