New Delhi, Oct 29: Ahead of the Uttar Pradesh elections and in the midst of a warring Samajwadi Party, the talks of a grand alliance appears to be getting louder. However the formation of a grand alliance doesn't appear as easy as it sounds.
Nitish Kumar of the JD(U) is still upset with Mulayam Singh Yadav after the latter had jeopardised his attempt to bring together the erstwhile Janata Dal at the time of the Bihar elections.
While Mulayam's brother, Shivpal Yadav has been assigned the task of forming the grand alliance, it is still not clear if the JD(U) and the Congress would be part of it. In fact sources indicate that the JD(U) is expecting a split in the Samajwadi Party.
The feud in the SP pariwar is far from over. In fact a campaign video of Akhilesh Yadav put out yesterday did not even feature, Mulayam in it. These are clear indications that all is still not well in the SP family. Sources say that there is a section in both the Congress as well the JD(U) which is expecting the SP to split ahead of the polls.
JD(U) leans towards Akhilesh:
If Akhilesh splits the party, then the JD (U), Congress, Rashtriya Lok Dal and other small parties could come together and back Akhilesh. While the Congress has for now said no to any grand alliance being engineered by Shivpal, things may be different if the party splits.
The decision by the JD(U) would largely depend on Nitish Kumar. If Kumar decides to join the alliance then the RLD too would follow suit as the two parties are already in a tie up in UP.
If the JD(U) and the RLD join hands with either of the factions then it would gain. This is primarily because the RLD and the JD(U) have a good support base in Western UP. However none of the parties would make anything official immediately.
They would wait for some clarity from the Samajwadi Party before throwing their hat into the ring. The parties want to be clear about the exact position in the SP before any call on a Grand Alliance is taken.
The JD(U) according to sources would prefer being part of an Akhilesh led party. The party feels that the UP CM has a better image and hence the chances would be brighter if the JD(U) aligns with him. In this contest one must recall what Nitish Kumar had to say about Akhilesh.
He had said that Akhilesh is a young and energetic leader. He has performed well. If he wants to come out of his family's shadow and emerge a winner then he will have got implement prohibition in UP, Nitish Kumar had also said.
Akhilesh will need the Congress:
If Akhilesh decides to float his own party, then he will need the support of both the Congress and the JD(U). For one a truck with the Congress would ensure that the Muslim votes are not split. Even if the Congress does decide to chose a faction, it would go with Akhilesh and this is to do with the close equation he shares with Rahul Gandhi.
Shivpal Yadav also recognises this and he too is desperately trying to stitch up a formidable alliance. It is a contest before a contest at the moment. The person who succeeds in forming this alliance would be the real winner in the SP ahead of the elections.
Shivpal makes his moves:
While Akhilesh has not reacted to any of these developments, Shivpal appears to be moving pillar and post to ensure that the alliance is formed because of him.
There was in fact a meeting between Shivpal and Congress poll strategist Prashant Kishor on Wednesday. However K C Tyagi the JD(U) leader at whose residence this meeting was held dismissed suggestions that the meet was to stitch up an alliance.
Tyagi said that the meeting was just co-incidental. He also said Shivpal visited his home at a time when Kishore was present. He had only come with an invitation for the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the SP, Tyagi also said.
Prior to this Shivpal had sent out invitations to leaders from four parties for the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the SP to be held in November. He sent invitations to
Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav of the JD(U), Laloo Prasad Yadav of the RJD, Ajit Singh and Jayant Choudhary of the Rashtriya Lok Dal and H D Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal (Secular).
Observers in Uttar Pradesh say that this invitation could be an indication as to who would be part of the grand alliance. It is an idea that was originally floated by Mulayam Singh Yadav and the charge of making it a reality has been given to his brother Shivpal.