LUCKNOW: The bypoll victory in Gorakhpur and Phulpur has suddenly energised the Samajwadi Party cadre in Uttar Pradesh and they have started preparing for Mission 2019, leaving one year of despondency — following the humiliating defeat in the Assembly polls — behind.
The euphoria generated by the win is also gradually evaporating the rancour of family feud that had afflicted the party leadership in the last two-three years.
“The fight was for chair. Since the chair is not with us anymore, so the fight has also got over,” said SP chief Akhilesh Yadav during a recent media interaction.
The ties between Akhilesh and his uncle Shivpal Yadav are steadily normalising. According to top party sources, Shivpal, currently on Mauritius trip, greeted Akhilesh on the victory and hailed the SP-BSP alignment.
The bypoll victory has also consolidated Akhilesh’s hold on the party. His leadership had come under scrutiny after the 2017 debacle. Shivpal did not spare a single platform to underline the point that Mualaym’s dethronement and familial differences were major reasons for supporters turning away from the party.
“Had Netaji (elder brother Mulayam Singh Yadav) been heading the party, Akhilesh would have been CM again,” Shivpal was often heard saying.
The bypoll victory appears to have silenced such critics.
It has also provided much-needed oxygen to boost the sagging spirits of party workers. With Rajya Sabha polls being next on the agenda, the SP leadership has assumed an offensive approach to cross the hurdles and ensure smooth sailing for the BSP candidate on March 23, fulfilling the second condition of the barter deal they had with Mayawati’s party.
Simultaneously, SP has now set its eyes on those sulking in the saffron brigade. While BJP is making all-out efforts to grab the ninth Rajya Sabha seat in the state, hoping for cross-voting, Samajwadis are trying to reverse the scenario. Sources said SP leadership was in touch with some of the BJP allies that have been airing their dissent in recent months. They are also anticipating the ‘ghar vapasi’ of many of those who had left the party to join the BJP ranks during the Assembly polls.