December 10, 2022
Recent developments suggest that all is not well between the Samajwadi Party and its allies in Uttar Pradesh.

Recent developments suggest that all is not well between the Samajwadi Party and its allies in Uttar Pradesh. Akhilesh Yadav’s vocal ally Om Prakash Rajbhar is looking for a new partner, while Shivpal Yadav is already pushed away. While the new developments are favourable for the ruling BJP, they can also open doors of new opportunities for the parties like Congress and the BSP.

 Samajwadi Party didn’t call its ally Om Praksh Rajbhar of Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) and its MLAs to the program organized to facilitate the opposition presidential candidate, Yashwant Sinha. While all the MLAs and MPs of Samajwadi Party and Lokdal, except Shivpal Yadav were present in the function, SBSB was a surprising absentee. The regional ally of Samajwadi Party has 6 members in the state legislative assembly, including Om Prakash Rajbhar.

Akhilesh Yadav, Pic Courtesy: Samajwadi Party Social Media

Earlier, after the humiliating loss of the alliance in Azamgarh and Rampur Lok Sabha bypolls, Om Prakash Rajbhar had criticized Akhilesh Yadav. “Akhilesh should come out of the comfort of air conditioners”, Rajbhar had suggested while adding that the “Samajwadi Party leader should leave his comfort zone if he wants to improve the performance of his party”. Obviously, these pinning words may have annoyed Akhilesh Yadav. Though Rajbhar has denied the possibilities of leaving the alliance of his own, it seems the divorce is imminent.

Shivpal Yadav, the leader of Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia (PRSP) has been dumped out of the alliance in a similar way. Though Shivpal won the polls on Samajwadi Party ticket from Jaswantnagar seat in the recently concluded assembly election. After being constantly left out of the party programs, Shivpal has decided to walk on his own way. Though he hasn’t resigned from the assembly, he has tried to create some problems for Akhilesh Yadav and his former party.

Another ally in question is Pallavi Patel of Apna Dal (Kamerawadi). Though ill and recovering from the brain hemorrhage, Pallavi Patel has also tried to keep away from the Samajwadi Party events.  She won the assembly election on SP ticket against the BJP stalwart and deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya from Sirathu (Kaushambi). Pallavi is still a Samajwadi Party MLA, but she is constantly nurturing the Apna Dal faction led by her mother Krishna Patel.

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Another ally who dumped the alliance with Samajwadi Party is the Mahan Dal led by Keshav Prasad Maurya. Keshav Prasad Maurya along with Om Prakash Rajbhar and Swami Prasad Maurya were the most vocal leaders against the BJP during the assembly polls. Even though the alliance lost the battle against the BJP, it is assumed that the Apna Dal, SBSB, RLD and Mahan Dal helped it to amass around 38% votes. The alliance got around 10% more than 2012, when the Samajwadi Party formed the government with absolute majority in the state.

The only ally that seems content with Akhilesh Yadav is Rashtriya Lok Dal led by Chaudhary Jayant Singh. Not only the allies, many leaders who joined the Samajwadi Party just before the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh are looking for a new option. This may not go well for the party looking to revive its fortunes before the 2024 Lok Sabha polls in the state with 80 parliamentary seats.

Meanwhile, loss for Samajwadi Party can be a gain for other opposition parties, if they act in time. BSP and Congress can revive their hopes for next polls riding on the assumption that the Samajwadi Party is losing the allies and the support base. If any of them, BSP or Congress, may somehow be able to set a narrative that the Samajwadi Party is on a decline path, the voters may turn towards them. This narrative can be a selling point among the minorities and the Dalit voters, but this comes with a rider. Either Congress or BSP should demonstrate the will that they can challenge BJP in the poll battle.

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