Mulayam Singh Yadav, like Lalu Prasad, is just another politician of the bygone era. The manner in which the veteran Samajwadi Party (SP) chief is indulging in a trial-and-error method to assess which political colour will suit him best, it says the man has not yet come out of the old school in Indian politics.
Just see what not Yadav is trying to get that much closer to the throne in Delhi. He is helping a tottering UPA to survive one moment and praising BJP leader L K Advani the next moment. Again, he is calling the Congress a cheat and in between the oscillation, he is floating the idea of a third front.
The desperation is too obvious there. But is this a way? Even the most ambitious man on the earth opts for a minimum consistency in stand and procedure. But Netaji just prefers to abide by a chaos theory.
No matter what he say, Mulayam can't dump Congress
Everybody knows that Mulayam Singh Yadav will find it difficult to dump the Congress if he fails to gather the numbers to lead a non-Congress, non-BJP government, which is very much likely. Irrespective of Advani's honesty, the BJP will be the last preference of the SP chief if he wants to retain his grip in Uttar Pradesh politics. So even if he toys with the idea to sever all ties with the Congress to force early elections (the SP has already announced its Lok Sabha candidates) to negate the anti-incumbency mood, there is all probability that he will return to its fold in the post-poll days.
For he can not allow Mayawati to take prominence by allying with the secular Congress and neither can he afford to annoy the latter if it substantially influences the next government at the Centre for the CBI is always a ready weapon at its disposal. The hapless condition of the BJP and the presence of Narendra Modi as the NDA's foremost candidate to claim the PM's seat will also keep Mulayam confined to the pro-Congress quarters.
Maulayam's politics has only been manipulative
Politicians like Mulayam Singh Yadav have always tried to manipulate their ways to reach the top. They have always regarded the political significance of UP as the most important factor and have displayed a desperate attempt to gather the numbers by some means to get themselves catapulted. But so far, the grand design of the SP leader has not succeeded even though he had never spared a chance to back his political ambitions, whether at the state or the Centre.
But this old style of politics stands badly exposed today. The Indian electorate is has turned mature and no more approves of the brazen opportunism that people like Mulayam and Mayawati exhibit.
The duo always get a special coverage in the national politics because they hail from a very important state in terms of the numbers but at the same time, when one is asked to judge them in terms of leadership and governance, both end up as pathetic losers. The reason is simple: These politicians are always busy manipulating social coalitions to bag the maximum number of ballots but never focus on a key issue like governance, which the modern-day India demands.
Mulayam Singh must understand that people like them will be thrown into the dustbin of history the moment they fail to fool the electorate. The SP and BSP feel that just because both the national parties have performed poorly in UP, it means that they could replace them at the national level with ease. But it is not the case.
Other leaders have banked on development to pursue ambition
There are other states in the country where the ruling dispensation has been backed by the people because it has met their expectation. Popular chief ministers like Narendra Modi, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Raman Singh, Nitish Kumar, Manik Sarkar or Sheila Dixit too harbour dreams of playing a bigger role in the national politics but they do what is more expected from them first and that is governance. It is a tragedy that Uttar Pradesh, despite sitting so close to the national capital, has not succeeded to register itself as a well-governed state and get itself rid of the BIMARU tag.
There is not a single instance where Mulayam Singh and his party has shown consistency when dealing with a policy or another party. The SP is often found taking U-turns on the FDI policy while Mulayam Singh exhibited the ruthless politician in him last year when he ditched Mamata Banerjee on the question of presidential candidate at the last moment and sided with the Congress to gain central benefits. This is Mulayam Singh Yadav, the man who can do anything to achieve his political ambition.
Mulayam is lucky for his rival is equally inefficient in terms of governability
Mulayam Singh perhaps thinks that he has all the capacity to emerge as an another UP prime minister and lead the country while the reality is that the Indian politics has undergone change in its nature and style in all these years to accommodate such politicians. We have seen how another powerful secular politician Lalu Prasad of neighbouring Bihar has been made obsolete and has to stick to the Congress to avert a political death.
His downfall was confirmed by the development model of rival Kumar. In some of the BJP-ruled states also, the shortfall in governance and development has been more than made up by the current regimes and there is no chance for the failed politicians to make any comeback there, at least not in the near future.
Mulayam Sing Yadav is lucky that his rival party also practises the same politics of power-hunting with no concern for popular welfare. His son, Akhilesh Yadav, who is currently the chief minister of UP, has not succeeded to author a good governance model so far except from an invitation from Harvard University to reflect on his administration's successful management of a massive turn-out at the recently concluded Mahakumbh in Allahabad.
It is these exposures which are more significant for our national politicians today and not the brazen pursuit of power which Mulayam practises.