Priyanka, Dimple Yadav To Campaign Together?
New Delhi: The father-son feud is likely to force the Election Commission to freeze the election symbol (cycle) of Samajwadi Party (SP). There were arguments before the EC by the factions led by Mulayam Singh, the patriarch who founded the party, and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Congress leader Kapil Sibbal appeared for Akhilesh. If the ruling family failed to bury the hatchet and go on to split the party, the scales might tilt towards Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP). Without the Cycle symbol and with the anti-incumbency factor, both the factions of the SP would find it difficult in the elections. The EC would announce its decision on the 17th.
The voting pattern in 2014 Lok Sabha elections suggested that the Dalits were solidly behind Mayawati, the BSP supremo, and some sections of OBCs and even Yadavs have moved over to her. She has given a major chunk of seats (93 out of 403) to Muslims in order to win over that community. To change the balance and keep the Muslims behind him, Akhilesh was keen on aligning with the Congress party and the Rastriya Lok Dal (RLD). Mulayam was opposed to any pre-poll alliance. That was the main point of dispute which caused the rift between the father and the son. Akhilesh is in no mood to relent for he knows for sure that the party would come a cropper if it goes to the polls alone. He would not mind splitting the party and go for pre-poll alliance.
Akhilesh Yadav reportedly deputed his wife, Dimple Yadav, to discuss the future course with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, sister of the Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi. Priyanka has been playing an important backroom role in the UP elections. Dimple lost in 2009 elections to actor-turned- politician Raj Babbar but got elected from her husband’s constituency Kannauj which he vacated to become chief minister in 2012. Dimple married Akhilesh in 1999 when she was 21. She remained a housewife for 10 years before reluctantly entering politics. But now she is reportedly playing a major role in helping her husband to clinch a deal with the Congress. Akhilesh and Rahul Gandhi have been wanting to work together in UP this time to stop Narendra Modi’s juggernaut. Akhilesh is credited by the party insiders with plans to make both Priyanka and Dimple to campaign together in the ensuing elections to the UP Assembly the polling.