Mulayam Singh Yadav: A lonely man ahead of UP polls

The state will witness a ‘Mulayam-less’ election for the first time with the Samajwadi Party patriarch yet to kick off the campaign trail.

Published: 07th February 2017 10:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th February 2017 10:30 PM   |  A+A-

Mulayam Singh Yadav

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav | PTI

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: Even as Uttar Pradesh is set to hit the assembly polls in a few days, the state will witness a ‘Mulayam-less’ election for the first time in 25 years with the Samajwadi Party patriarch yet to kick off the campaign trail.
One of the most vocal Samajwadis on the political landscape, Mulayam is now sitting silently with an occasional quip here and a retort there.
Earlier, the SP patriarch used to cover the entire state touching every nook and corner of the state. It is believed he could identify the villages in the state while flying his chopper.
Playing the party patron, a role imposed on him, the Lohia disciple is now a pale shadow of his past even as the poll scenario hots up around him. Mulayam’s plight doesn’t need any evidence. It is well reflected by the deserted look at his residence—5, VD Marg.
“These are the tell-tale signs. The gates now seldom open as there are hardly any visitors,” said a senior SP functionary while standing in front of the SP headquarters adjacent to Mulayam’s house.
There was a time when the Samajwadis used to throng their president’s official residence. But this time, the SP patriarch is hardly finding any visitors.
The reluctance of the front office staff—sitting idle throughout the day— to attend the few visitors, also conveys the mood behind the gates. There are a few cars parked outside the gate as the entire rush is directed to the nearby party headquarters—bustling with SP leaders and workers who are busy churning out campaign programmes and party strategies for the upcoming polls.
It's the Janeshwar Mishra Trust building—the nerve centre of the SP's poll campaign.
One of the most sought after leaders till some time back, when a battery of media persons would wait for hours outside his gates, Mulayam is now a lonely man.
“Ab naa to ticket mangne wale yahan aate hain aur naa hi unse milne wale. Ab saare log mukhyamantirji ke pass hi jate hain (Neither the ticket seekers nor the visitors come here. Everyone now goes to the Chief Minister),” said one of his staff sitting at the gate.
Mulayam, last month, lost the long-drawn battle over the party symbol to his son Akhilesh who donned the hat of party chief while carving out the role of party patron for his father.
Moreover, the patriarch is finding it difficult to accept the SP pact with the Congress. Many of his loyalists and old friends have turned to other parties as an immediate fallout of the feud the Yadav family was locked in over the last four months.
Though Mulayam tops the party’s list of star campaigners, he is hardly invited by any leader to campaign. The veteran, however, possesses a rare knack for hogging the limelight—he keeps on issuing statements that sometimes create ripples in the SP camp.

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