UP Election 2017: Don't write Mulayam off yet, he may still have an ace up his sleeve

Kasme waade pyaar wafa sab; baatein hain baaato ka kya
Koi kisi ka nahi ye jhoothhe; natey hain naato ka kya
Kasme waade pyaar wafa…

Hoga maseeha saamne tere; fir bhi na tu bach paayega
Tera apna khoon hi aakhir; tujhko aag lagayega
Aasman pe udane waale; mitti me mil jayega
Kasme wade…

Penned by Qamar Jalalabadi and sung originally by Manna Dey, this beautiful song, which was immortalised by Pran with his hugely successful performance as Malang Chacha in Manoj Kumar’s blockbuster Upkaar (1967) hit the headlines on New Year’s Day all over again.

But why?

It's because Chacha Shivpal Singh Yadav had sung the song once again for the benefit of his friends at a five-star hotel in the aftermath of Akhilesh Yadav’s appointment as party president in place of Mulayam Singh Yadav. Just imagine the kind of impact Shivpal’s rendition must have had:

The song does convey an eternal truth. And eternal truths remain true in all cases in all ages without any exception — whether Mulayam, Shivpal or anybody else. In Akhilesh's Samajwadi Party, Mulayam has been 'promoted'’ to occupy the same 'margdarshak' position that LK Advani and Murali Manohar Joshi do in Narendra Modi’s BJP. Is there any difference? Perhaps not. Neither the Samajwadi Party nor the BJP are, in this context, parties with a difference.

Be that as it may, there is an unwritten rule even in the world of politics: You may go on doing as you like in your political manoeuverings, but be careful. You must not be seen to be disrespecting seniors — not even remotely. India is an extremely sensitive land. Recall what happened to the British Raj after old Lala Lajpat Rai was lathi charged during the Independence struggle. Or remember how fast the tide turned against Indira Gandhi across the nation following a brutal assault on septuagenarian Jayaprakash Narayan by policemen during the Bihar movement in 1974.

Akhilesh knows this very well. That’s why he made sure, time and again, that no one in his group spoke a word against his father. Soon after being elevated as party president, he tweeted:

He wants to tell the world that he is, in fact, protecting his father from the machinations of certain evil forces.

Throwing further light on Akhilesh’s suspicion, The Times of India put out a story titled 'Different Mulayam signatures spark forgery speculation' on Tuesday. To make things clear, the newspaper published photocopies of two Mulayam letters — the one through which the parallel SP convention was declared as unconstitutional and the other by which Kiranmoy Nanda was expelled from the parent party.

File image of Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav. PTI

File image of Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav. PTI

The newspaper story said: "Issued a few hours apart, Mulayam’s signatures on the letters do not match... Justifying his coup against his father, Akhilesh had said on Sunday that some people had taken control of Mulayam, getting him to sign documents and take decisions, some flagrantly against the interest of the party".

There may be wheels within wheels. But who knows?

Even as the two warring groups are seen to be locking horns before the Election Commission to retain the 'bicycle' symbol, Mulayam has put on hold his party’s emergency convention that was scheduled to be held on 5 January.

According to The Indian Express, “Mulayam had called the convention to dispel misconceptions of public support created by Sunday’s convention in which the rival camp seized control of the SP state headquarters and appointed his son Akhilesh party chief and MLC Naresh Uttam state president.”

If so, why put it off? Will the wily old patriarch draw an ace from up his sleeve once again befuddling friends and foes alike? Is a truce still possible? Maybe.

You never know, the "Kasme Waade" song might be proved wrong. For a change.

Updated Date: Jan 03, 2017 11:34 AM

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