Lucknow, Feb 15: Over the years, Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav has established himself as a 'star campaigner' in almost all the elections held in Uttar Pradesh in the last 25 years. Wherever he addressed poll rallies, people flocked to have a glimpse of their Netaji (as Mulayam is popularly known).
This election season, things have drastically changed for the veteran politician. As UP began polling for the second phase of assembly elections on Wednesday, everyone is curious about the whereabouts of the senior SP leader.
Mulayam has so far attended rallies only for brother Shivpal Yadav at Jaswant Nagar in Etawah on February 11 and 13. On Wednesday, he is scheduled to attend a public meeting for daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav, the wife of his second son Prateek, at Cantonment in Lucknow. Both seats go to polls in the third phase on February 19.
Otherwise, he is almost missing from the hectic election campaign trail. Instead it is his son and chief minister of the state, Akhilesh Yadav, who is hogging the limelight. Poll pundits say the veteran politician has been totally sidelined by Akhilesh, after the latter got hold of the party's reins.
In fact, an upset Mulayam had earlier said that he won't be campaigning this election season. However, he changed his mind only for his brother and daughter-in-law's sake.
Mulayam has categorically said that he was against the newly forged alliance between the Congress and the SP. As the state elections are yet to get over and polling in due in five more phases, we have to wait and watch if Mulayam will be once again seen in the public attending election rallies.