NEW DELHI: Much more than the coming Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, the twists and turns in the Yadav family saga of Uttar Pradesh have become riveting. On Wednesday, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav was in a rebellious mood, about to embark upon a Vikas Rath Yatra to kick off his campaign all alone, skipping the Samajwadi Party's silver jubilee celebrations organised by his uncle and his father Mulayam Yadav's current favourite, Shivpal Yadav.
Akhilesh had rescheduled his Vikas Yatra once, from October 3 to November 5, thanks to the ongoing family feud. Now, he's not ready to defer it no more.
If in the process he is appearing a bit like a rebellious ward of the SP supremo Mulayam Singh and not quite the chief minister of the biggest state of India, that seems to be his own problem. The young CM's camp-followers, however, claim his determination to stick to his guns will "enhance'' his image among voters. "Akhilesh Yadav is our biggest USP,'' one of them told New Indian Express.
Well, Akhilesh seems ready for a political gamble in order to wrest control of the party. By shooting off a letter to his father, Akhilesh let him know he was going off on his 'Vikas Rath Yatra' as per schedule.
This would mean, he may not be available for the party's silver jubilee celebrations, slated to begin two days later.
The letter to his father also points out that all political parties have already started their campaign for the Assembly polls and he cannot wait to start his any longer. The last time, he deferred his yatra thanks to the
family feud fuelled by his uncle Shivpal.
"I had decided to take out the Yatra from October 3 but it was cancelled due to some reasons. I will take out the Samajwadi Vikas Rath Yatra from November 3," Akhilesh wrote.
The scheduling of the Yatra is what has resulted in speculation that Akhilesh might skip the SP silver jubilee celebrations which begin from November 5. The CM is said to be rather miffed over the sacking of a few youth leaders from the party, close to him, who would not be present at the event.
In the ongoing turf war, Akhilesh's Yatra is seen as a move to truncate the influence of Shivpal, who was appointed the new state party president replacing him. Akhilesh, however, is said to have faxed the details of Yatra schedule to Shivpal as well as Ram Gopal Yadav, the party's national general secretary.
According to sources, Mulayam tried to broker a truce between Akhilesh and Shivpal earler in the day at his residence. But Akhilesh's demands for revoking the expulsion of youth leaders and having his say in the ticket distribution may not have been met.
The Yatra announcement came thereafter.