Repeat of Ramayana in UP
- How Kaikeyi of modern Ayodhya created a crisis for Akhilesh?
Hyderabad: Is Ramayana repeating itself in Ayodhya, believed to be the birthplace of Rama? So it seems if one goes by the rumours making rounds in Uttar Pradesh. Just like Kaikeyi sent Rama to forest by putting psychological pressure on King Dasaratha in order to make her son, Bharata, the king, in today’s Uttar Pradesh, where Ayodhya is located, Akhilesh Yadav is sought to be divested of power to facilitate the coronation of his step brother, Prateek Yadav.
Not many people know that Mulayam Singh Yadav has a second wife, Sadhana by name, who happens to be a step-mother of Akhilesh. Rumours suggest she had got black magic used against the young chief minister to make his life miserable so that he would relinquish power. Mulayam strongly believes that Akhilesh, son of elder wife, is an efficient politician and a worthy successor. But Shivpal Yadav, younger brother of Mulayam Singh, has lent his support to second sister-in-law, Sadhana. This had created a lot of problems for Mulayam.
Mulayam’s first wife Malati Yadav died in 2003. Since then Sadhana has been acknowledged as Mulayam’s second wife. They reportedly had relationship even during the lifetime of Malati. Prateek Yadav was born in 1988. Although Prateek has no interest in politics, his mother encouraged him by going out of the way. After 2012 Assembly elections, Shivpal Yadav and Sadhana wished that Mulayam would become the CM for the fourth time. But Mulayam had anointed Akhilesh as his legatee and made him the chief minister. Uday Veer Singh, who was suspended by party president Shivpal Yadav for supporting Akhilesh and demanding that he be made party president again, told his followers that Sadhana had encouraged some of the Samajwadi Party MLAs to revolt against Akhilesh.
Sadhana thought she should plan her strategy well before elections this time since she failed last time in her attempt to prevent Akhilesh from becoming CM. The result is the crisis in the party created by Shivpal purportedly at the behest of Sadhana. People who know this background understand why Mulayam had commented that the incumbent CM would not automatically get elected as CM after the elections, but the new CM will be elected by the Party MLAs who are elected by the people.
If Mulayam wishes to take the mantle of chief minister’s post, no one would stop him. But if he proposes the name of Shivpal, MLAs who are loyal to Akhilesh would oppose him. The position of party president is very important at the time of elections since it is he who would make the final selection of the party candidates. That was why Akhilesh was upset when the post was taken away from him and given to Shivpal.
Akhilesh is convinced that Amar Singh, a maverick leader who was expelled from the party and readmitted recently, is behind Sadhana’s political moves. Akhilesh’s faction argues that it is Amar Sigh who is responsible for the whole crisis. They say readmitting the ‘mischievous politician’ was a blunder. There is an interesting Telugu angle to the story. Amara Singh’s friend and two-times MP from UP Jayaprada, a former film heroine, is also closely associated with Sadhana. Jayaprada is opposed to Akhilesh because he did not allow her to become chairperson of the UP Film Development Corporation as suggested by Amar Singh. That is precisely the reason why Akhilesh was keen on removing the ministers loyal to Amar Singh and also throw him out of the party.
Sadhana had played an important role in facilitating the return of Amar Singh into party fold. Since her son Prateek is not excited about politics, she made her daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav enter public life. Aparna is slated to contest from Lucknow Cantonment constituency where the BJP candidate would be Rita Bahuguna, the sitting Congress MLA who recently defected to the BJP.
When Akhilesh got wind of these developments, he moved rather swiftly to ward off the trouble. He sacked his cabinet colleagues, Gayatri Prajapati and Raj Kishore Singh, who are followers of Sadhana and Amar Singh. The next day, he got rid of Chief Secretary Deepak Singhal, an Amar Singh loyalist. At that point in time, Shivpal went to Delhi and complained to Mulayam against Akhilesh. Mulayam had taken off the party post from his son and gave it to his brother. That was how Sadhana’s love for his son had resulted in a mega political crisis in UP.
The whole country is now watching the developments in Lucknow to see whether Akhilesh would go into political wilderness or split the party and emerge as a youth icon like Indira did in 1969 to break the back of the Syndicate Members of the old Congress party or succumb to his powerful father’s pressure.
A few priests from the far-flung Kamakhya in Assom, known for tantric powers, were called in at the behest of Amar Singh, who also got a seasoned priest, Diwakar Sharma, to conduct rituals. Like in the Ramayana, Prateek Singh is disinterested in throne just Bharata was not interested in power. Bharata placed the chappals of his elder brother Rama on the throne (Paadukaa pattabhishekam) and ruled in his name till Rama returned to Ayodhya. In the same way, Prateek Singh reportedly commented that Akhilesh is a good and suitable leader to be the CM. Prateek is more interested in fitness matters and animal rights.