UP Election 2017: Akhilesh Yadav-Ram Gopal Yadav bonhomie may not last long

In about an hour after Ram Gopal Yadav landed at the Election Commission office in New Delhi to claim that he and Akhilesh Yadav were the ones who commanded the Samajwadi Party and have the right to retain the party's poll symbol, cycle, and persuade the EC to reject similar claims made by Mulayam Singh Yadav, another interesting development took place in Lucknow, again with some loaded implications for the pari-War and state politics.

Son Akhilesh Yadav drove to father Mulayam Singh's residence in Lucknow to negotiate a truce formula. The meeting gave rise to another round of speculations: what could be the possible peace formula, how long does the latest agreement last and who in the family or outside could be made a sacrificial lamb.

Akhilesh Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav

Akhilesh Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav

There aren't many doubts that father Mulayam and son Akhilesh would ultimately stand united. After all, blood is thicker than water. It was Mulayam who had decided to anoint Akhilesh as the chief minister of the most populous state of Indian union despite the fact that the latter didn't have required maturity, age and experience to lead this politically critical state. All twists and turns and a no-holds-barred family war played out in the public have led to the singular fact that Akhilesh has emerged stronger than he was six months ago. Whether it was by Mulayam's design or otherwise, the fact remains that Akhilesh has his political inheritance to greater heights, irrespective of win or loss in coming elections. He has been a worthy inheritor of Mulayam's legacy in all its forms and substance — sam, daam, dand, ved.

The question then arises is what would happen to two uncles Shivpal and Ram Gopal should father and son call a truce? Shivpal appears tough and talks like a ruthless executioner who loves to flaunt his muscle. Ram Gopal presents a curious case, though. The "Professor " has been soft, suave, educated and an articulate face of the Samajwadi Party, someone who is famed to have written the constitution of the party but it's his newly acquired image of Akhilesh's political Guru, backroom architect of Akhilesh's moves, a Chankaya for "Chandragupta" Akhilesh aka Tipu the Sultan is more important for current analysis.

Will Akhilesh still need Chanakya Ram Gopal by his side when his supremacy within the Samajwadi Party is established and father Mulayam yet again takes over all possible roles to promote son? Nobody can have an answer to that but contemporary history is not on his side. Modern day Chanakyas across the political spectrum have thrived for a while but contemporary history is full of characters who were either dumped or sidelined.

Take Congress for instance. Till two years ago Digvijay Singh was considered to be Rahul Gandhi's political guru, his Chanakya. The man who would always be by Congress vice president's side, his remarks taken as an aberration on Day One would be taken as the official line of the party in days to follow. He took Gandhi for a surprise bike ride cum-dharna at Bhatta Parsaul in UP in the run-up to the last assembly election in UP. With Digvijay by his side, Rahul had claimed that the then Mayawati-led government had killed farmers in that area and mounds of ashes in those villages contained human body remains. His claims fell flat as no body part was found there.

Digvijay took him to Azamgarh and all other places in UP where he thought Rahul's secularist credentials, as well as his image of a prince who thrived on princely perks and privileges but was a rebel in his own right could work. But it all bombed in the UP election 2012 and all other state assembly and parliamentary elections that were held since then.

Since then Digvijay has been trying to find peace in world matters and his political interventions are mostly limited to twitter.

Exit Digvijay, in came Prashant Kishor, as political guru-cum-election strategist-cum-Chanakya for Rahul Gandhi. For a while, Kishor's word drew the line for Congress — Brahmin Sheila Dikshit as party's chief ministerial candidate in UP, Rahul undertaking Khat Sabhas, Rahul walking on the ramp and Kishor's team controlling Congress vice-president's movements during month long Kisan yatra.

Kishor, the Chanakya is now out of Rahul and Congress's scheme of things. He is not much heard off even in Bihar where he was considered to be not just a poll strategist for Nitish Kumar but also his political heir.

Decades ago an iconic Kumarasami Kamaraj, considered a kingmaker and Chanakya for Lal Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi, author of the Kamraj plan was thrown out of Indira's dispensation and he went into oblivion with Congress (O).

In BJP KN Govindacharya had shot to fame and glory as a young unassuming Chanakya of the party but one single mistake where he referred to Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the mask of the party, and he was thrown out of the system.

In Odisha, Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, a bureaucrat-turned-political was once considered to be not only the Chanakya for Navin Patnaik but a parallel power centre as well. Five years ago, he made an over-ambitious move, at least suspected to, and was thrown out of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) to oblivion.

Likewise, in Bihar, Shivanand Tiwari was taken to be Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar's Chanakya, but now Tiwari is trying to find contentment in reading and writing.

Ram Gopal Yadav can find another such example closer to his home — of Amar Singh.

Published Date: Jan 03, 2017 17:26 PM | Updated Date: Jan 03, 2017 17:26 PM

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