Interval irritates in action packed movies, emotional TV serials and developing political power-struggles. Always. For, during the ‘commercials’, you feel like hanging in mid-air wondering what all would happen from here on. And you don’t know precise answers to the questions that keep cropping up halfway through the show.
Yes, it’s irritating, annoying — even exasperating.
But you can’t help it.
The break, or call it truce, that you now see in the battle of one–upmanship within the ruling Yadav clan in Lucknow reveals less and conceals more! It’s deceptive.
Here are five questions that continue to puzzle us all:
First, will the Chief Minister, whose additional responsibility as president of state unit of the Samajwadi Party was snatched away in an unseemly game of palace intrigue, be given back his position? There is no clarity on the issue despite Mulayam Singh Yadav’s otherwise vague observation that all is fine within the family, the party and the government. "Galti hui humse (Yes, I made a mistake in removing Akhilesh as party’s Uttar Pradesh unit chief), Netaji had admitted but didn’t elucidate further.
Second, who will matter more in distribution of party tickets — chacha Shivpal or bhatija Akhilesh? It’s an important question in the backdrop of the fact that the Chief Minister would continue to be the face of the party in the elections.
Third, will the Samajwadi Party supremo side with brother Shivpal on the issue of an alliance with Mukhtar Ansari’s Quami Ekta Dal (QED) despite son Akhilesh’s opposition? Again, there is no clarity. Remember, this alliance was both forged and broken last month. Abruptly.
Fourth, will Mulayam make sure that ‘outsider’ Amar Singh doesn’t get anywhere near any member of the Yadav clan? Akhilesh has already made public his allergy towards the 'outsider' who had been sowing seeds of disunity in the ruling family. Chacha Ramgopal stands rock solid behind Akhilesh on this issue.
And fifth, what’s the future of the Samajwadi Party under the present circumstances?
As a face, Akhilesh looks like a strong contender. But that’s not what is important. What is more relevant is that his party is a chaotic house in the election year. There are now enough question marks regarding the party’s hold over its Yadav-Muslim vote-bank. Remember, the minority community generally goes with the party which is best suited to defeat the BJP. Also remember that Mayawati is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that Muslims join her bandwagon in a big way this time, particularly in Western Uttar Pradesh.
The Bahujan Samaj Party supremo has already staged massive rallies at Agra, Azamgarh, Saharanpur and Allahabad. And she will be showcasing her strength on Kanshi Ram’s death anniversary in Lucknow on 9 October. She is battle-ready. In sharp contrast, her main adversary — the Samajwadi Party — is busy fighting intra-party disorder.
The BJP and the Congress, which happen to be the third and fourth forces in Uttar Pradesh at this point of time, are watching the developments rather gleefully. While the BJP thinks that Muslims would now be divided among the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress almost equally, Prashant Kishor and his computer whiz-kids hold the hope that even a section of backwards, particularly MBCs, might drift towards them. There is no harm in keeping hopes alive. And why not at least as long as there is turmoil in the Samajwadi Party camp?
But let’s put the focus back on the developments that bedevil the Samajwadi Party. Latest reports emanating from the VIP zone in Lucknow say that supporters of Shivpal and Akhilesh almost came to blows on the streets today. They were flexing their muscles and raising slogans in support of their respective leaders. And, on his part, Mulayam Singh was reported to be in a state of shock. He didn’t know how to douse the fire.
But it’s interval time. Let’s not try to make any conclusive judgement. Netaji is an old-war-horse. You never know, he might surprise us all with an ace up his sleeve. He has done it so many times in the past.
Nevertheless, time is running out fast. Elections are hardly four months away. And the show is about to begin after the break. It’s best to keep our fingers crossed. Silence please.