Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav today in Lok Sabha wished for Narendra Modi’s victory as Prime Minister for the second term in upcoming 2019 elections. While it is Indian tradition to wish the adversary luck before the competition, one does not wish for the opponent’s victory.
For Mulayam Singh Yadav to say it in as many words, even as his own son, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has been eying the post, is a specific political statement in itself. Akhilesh has befriended Mayawati, once a bitter rival to Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son, and have gotten into a pre-poll alliance for sharing seats. Interestingly, Mayawati and Akhilesh have left Congress out of their alliance.
While his supporters say it was in good humour, looking at the expressions of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who was sitting next to him when he rooted for Narendra Modi as Prime Minister, it was quite clear that he had touched a raw nerve there.
#WATCH Samajwadi Party’s Mulayam Singh Yadav in Lok Sabha, says, “PM ko badhaai dena chahta hun ki PM ne sabko saath lekar chalne ka pura prayas kiya. Main chahta hun, meri kamna hai ki saare sadsya phir se jeet kar aayen aur aap (PM) dobara pradhan mantri banein.” pic.twitter.com/j6Bnj9Kr3p
— ANI (@ANI) February 13, 2019
Later, when his turn came to speak in the Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Modi thanked Mulayam Singh Yadav for giving his blessings.
Does this mean that given a choice between Narendra Modi and the dozens of others who are contending for the PM’s post including Congress President Rahul Gandhi and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee as well as his own son Akhilesh Yadav, Mulayam Singh would rather see Modi as Prime Minister? Does Netaji think that ‘UP ke Ladke’ are not fit to be the Prime Minister of India?
Coming out of the parliament, when Mulayam Singh Yadav was asked why does he wish that Narendra Modi should come back, the politician in him said that he was being courteous. Samajwadi Party is also maintaining that this was just a political courtesy.
But then, Mulayam Singh Yadav is a seasoned politician and a mass leader. His message today went out to the people of Uttar Pradesh, the one state which could be the game-changer in upcoming elections. Whether Mulayam Singh Yadav’s endorsement helps Modi or not is a different thing. However, it shall be interesting to see how this statement affects the future of ‘United Opposition’.
And where exactly does it now leave Congress and Rahul Gandhi?