Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav is moving here and there to save his face after the drubbing he took in the recently concluded elections in five states. The SP supremo fought gallantly but failed to challenge Yogi Adityanath, who once again grabbed power in Uttar Pradesh.
Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav and jailed SP leader Azam Khan on Tuesday resigned from the Lok Sabha, after being elected to the state legislative assembly.
Akhilesh is an MLA from Karhal assembly.
Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav has decided to resign from the Lok Sabha after being elected as an MLA from the Karhal assembly seat in the recently concluded elections.
A senior SP leader confirmed that Akhilesh and Azam have resigned from their parliamentary seats of Azamgarh and Rampur, respectively. Akhileshji has chosen to serve as an MLA from Karhal in the Mainpuri district. Similarly, Azam will serve as an MLA from the Rampur Assembly seat, “said the leader.
In the recently concluded state polls, Akhilesh had won the Karhal seat after securing 1,48,196 votes, while the BJP’s SP Singh Baghel came a distant second after getting 80,692 votes. This was Akhilesh’s first state election, after he had taken the MLC route to become chief minister in 2012.
Azam elected from Rampur.
Azam had won the Rampur seat by a margin of 55,141 votes against the BJP’s Akash Saxena. He was elected a Lok Sabha member from the Rampur Lok Sabha seat in 2019.
Akhilesh on Tuesday met Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and tendered his resignation, with a strong indication emerging that he will lead the Opposition in the state Assembly.
He was elected an MP from Azamgarh in 2019 after getting 6.21 lakh votes, against the BJP’s Dinesh Lal Yadav, ‘Nirahua’ who came second with 3.61 lakh votes. His father, SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, had won the seat in 2014.
Yaadav to play a lead role in the opposition
Following this, Yadav is expected to lead the party in the state and play the role of opposition leader in the Uttar Pradesh assembly.
Veteran SP leader Azam Khan also quit his Lok Sabha seat earlier in the day. He had won the Rampur Assembly seat.
Azam Khan has been slapped with a number of cases by the UP government on charges of land grabbing and many more. Currently, he is in jail.
The decision of the SP leaders also appears to be influenced by the decimation of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which won just one Assembly seat in the 2022 state polls.
In the 2022 Uttar Pradesh elections, SP came a distant second, securing 111 constituencies, a massive increase from 47 in 2017, and getting 32.06 percent of the votes.
Wide difference between BJP &SP
Despite increasing its seats and vote share, the SP is still no match for the BJP.After the victory in UP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called it a ‘festival of democracy.” PM Modi thanked the voters for their mandate in favour of the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh and three other states—one of which he described as “jeet ka chauka.” Stating that the results validate the BJP’s pro-poor and proactive governance, Modi added that the festival of Holi has begun with the BJP’s win in the assembly polls. Yogi Adityanath is set to become the first chief minister in UP to return to power after serving a full five-year term.
Akhilesh Yadav served as Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Minister from 2012 to 2017. Having assumed office on March 15, 2012, at the age of 38, he was the youngest person to have held the office.
His first significant success in politics was being elected as a member of the Lok Sabha for the Kannauj constituency in 2000. He is the son of veteran politician Mulayam Singh Yadav, the founder-patron of the Samajwadi Party, who has served as the Minister of Defence in the Government of India and three terms as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
A Brief Overview of SP
The Samajwadi Party, established in 1992 by Mulayam Singh Yadav, Prior to establishing the Samajwadi Party, Yadav had previously run a government in Uttar Pradesh as a member of the Janata Dal (Socialist) with the support of the Congress. However, the state government fell as Congress withdrew its support. This led to the formation of the Samajwadi Party. The party’s main aim was to establish its position as a major force in Uttar Pradesh.
In 1993, the Samajwadi Party formed an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party to keep the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from returning to power in the state. It was successful in doing so, and Mulayam Singh Yadav became the chief minister. However, this government fell as the Congress again withdrew support. The party continued its struggle in the state, even as the chief minister’s chair was taken in turns by the SP and BSP until 2017.
The party suffered a major defeat in the Lok Sabha polls of 2014, which were swept by the BJP not only in Uttar Pradesh but across India, riding mainly on the so-called ‘Modi wave’. Subsequently, the fate of the Samajwadi Party in the state elections of 2017 was not much different.
The loss of the 2017 Assembly polls was also the result of a family feud, with Mulayam Singh Yadav and his brother Shivpal on one side and son Akhilesh (then the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh) on the other, along with cousin Ram Gopal Yadav. The differences were over the running of the party’s operations.
Subsequently, Akhilesh took over as the president of the party, Mulayam became its chairman, Shivpal was expelled, and Ram Gopal was first expelled and then taken back into the Samajwadi Party.
The party is a strong force in Uttar Pradesh and other regions of the Hindi heartland. But it is undeniable that Akhilesh, at this moment, is the only well-known face in the party. If SP wants to go ahead, then new faces will need to come on board or it may face the same fate as BSP.