BUA WITH BABUA: LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP OF MAYAWATI AND AKHILESH YADAV

AKHILESH YADAV AND MAYAWATI SHARE LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP.

POLITICALLY, THEY HAVE BEEN LIKE “SWORN ENEMIES”, EXTREME POLLS IN THE UTTAR PRADESH POLITICS.

BUT AFTER THE UTTAR PRADESH ASSEMBLY POLLS, THEY ARE BEHAVING MORE LIKE “FRENEMIES”.

MAYAWATI DESCRIBES HER “LOVE AND HATE” FOR AKHILESH BY CALLING HIM BABUA (LITTLE BOY – IN AN AFFECTIONATE WAY/OR SATIRICALLY).

AKHILESH EXPRESSES HIS “LOVE AND HATE” BY CALLING MAYAWATI “BUA” (AUNT – FATHER’S SISTER/OR SATIRICALLY).

MARCH 9, 2017: TWO DAYS BEFORE THE COUNTING OF THE UP ASSEMBLY POLLS – AND ON NEXT OF THE LAST PHASE OF POLLS – IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE EXIT POLLS GIVING CLEAR MAJORITY TO THE BJP – AKHILESH IS FORCED TO FEEL THE PULSE OF SECULAR POLITICS AGAIN – HINTS HE IS OPEN TO AN ALLIANCE WITH MAYAWATI TO KEEP THE BJP OUT OF THE LUCKNOW SECRETARIAT – MAYAWATI’S VAGUE REPLY SAYS SHE IS ALSO OK WITH THE GESTURE.

MARCH 11, 2017: THE BJP WINS A LANDSLIDE IN UTTAR PRADESH, BETTERING EVEN THE EXIT POLL PROJECTIONS – A DESPERATE MAYAWATI BLAMES EVMS – AKHILESH ACCEPTS THE DEFEAT BUT SEES A POINT IN MAYAWATI’S ALLEGATIONS….SO, THE GROUND FOR FUTURE ALLIANCE FURTHER TAKES SHAPE.

APRIL 14, 2017: MAYAWATI, DURING HER RALLY IN LUCKNOW ON DR. AMBEDKAR’S BIRTH ANNIVERSARY, ANNOUNCED HER VOCAL WILLINGNESS TO BE PART OF A LARGER ANTI-BJP ALLIANCE…..

APRIL 15, 2017: AKHILESH RESPONDS TO MAYAWATI’S CALLS, SAYS READY FOR HIS ROLE IN ANY “ALLIANCE AGAINST PROPAGANDA”.

APRIL 20, 2017: MAYAWATI FURTHER FIRMS UP HER “ALLIANCE” PLANS, MAKES CHANGES TO THE BSP PARTY STRUCTURE AND DECIDES TO CONTEST THE LOCAL POLLS ON HER PARTY’S SYMBOL, UNLIKE HER PAST STRATEGY.

WITH THIS, MAYAWATI HAS MATCHED AKHILESH IN MAKING OPEN CALLS FOR AN ALLIANCE – TWO CALLS EACH – BUA AND BABUA ARE REACHING THERE.

LET’S SEE WHO COMES UP, WITH WHAT, IN THE NEXT STEP OF COALITION-MAKING PROCESS.

BUA WITH BABUA
LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP OF
MAYAWATI AND AKHILESH YADAV

©RaginiChaubey/SantoshChaubey

YADAVS’ FIRST FAMILY: A CARTOONIST’S DELIGHT :)

Well, that is exactly what has happened with recent events – developments, statements and even silence – everything gives an interesting sense of déjà vu. Everything has happened as it was thought to be – but with loads of moments that are pure delight for any cartoonist with an eye for political humour and satire.

We can say,

PAL MEIN TOLA PAL MEIN MASHA, KITNE RANG BADALTE HAIN.

SOMETIMES THEY PLAY FAST. SOMETIMES THEY PLAY LOOSE. HOW MANY COLOURS THEY CHANGE?

Or

(SOMETIMES IT PLAYS FAST. SOMETIMES IT PLAYS LOOSE. HOW MANY COLOURS IT CHANGES?)

Any which way you want to say 🙂

Or we can say,

A FAMILY THAT SPARS TOGETHER, SPEARS TOGETHER.

Or we can say,

A FAMILY THAT PRAYS TOGETHER, AFFRAYS TOGETHER.

Or we can say,

A FAMILY THAT PLAYS TOGETHER, DISPLAYS IT TOGETHER.

Or we can the staple one 🙂 🙂

A FAMILY..THAT DISAGREES TO DISAGREE.

muakhishiv-1

(CARTOON BY RAGINI CHAUBEY)

YADAVS’ FIRST FAMILY: A CARTOONIST’S DELIGHT 🙂

©SantoshChaubey

WHICH WAY MULAYAM WOULD GO TODAY?

So, yesterday was a day of intense drama, revenge sackings, letter wars and war of words in the ongoing family feud in Uttar Pradesh’s first family to wrest the power. And today could be even more fiery, even more spiteful, even more dramatic, even more shocking, depending on which way Mulayam decides to go, and in turn, depending on that, which way Akhilesh would go.

Let’s do some wise (wild guessing).

This morning when Mulayam Singh Yadav will speak on the controversy after meeting his party’s MLAs and MLCs, it will have the hangover of the meeting of the day and of the developments yesterday we can say.

Will Mulayam speak his mind irrespective of which way the meetings goes, with Akhilesh’s power display or Shivpal’s show of loyalty?

Or his final word will become final after he assesses the mood in his party – that who carries more weight now – Akhilesh or Shivpal?

Whatever happens, one things is sure that it will write the next chapter in the script of the Samajwadi Party family feud.

Harm has to happen. Votes will split. Irrespective of which way Mulayam decides to go. What he can hope at best – that the repercussions will not last long.

And one thing – Mulayam is not going to replace Akhilesh with himself as UP’s next CM.

©SantoshChaubey

A WORSE SEPTEMBER 13 REDUX: AKHILESH SACKS UNCLE SHIVPAL THIS TIME

Going a step further this time, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has sacked his uncle and the most senior minister of his cabinet, Shivpal Yadav, who is also the state president of his Samajwadi Party, the ruling political outfit of UP led by Mulayam Singh Yadav, a position that previously Akhilesh held.

This time, it is a worse sort of split.

Last time, on September 13, Akhilesh had, first sacked the UP chief secretary Deepak Singhal, considered close to Shivpal, and then had stripped Shivpal of his entire ministerial portfolio (but had not sacked him).

Protesting this, in a late night drama, on September 15, Shivpal had resigned from both positions, as the SP’s UP state president and as UP’s cabinet minister. Amar Singh was being relentlessly targeted by Akhilesh supporters for creating this havoc in the party.

Next day, on September 16, Mulayam had rejected Shivpal’s resignation. Led by Mulayam, the party patriarch, Akhilesh’s father and Shivpal’s brother, a deal sort of arrangement was brokered and it was announced from Akhilesh’s office that Shivpal and the controversial UP minister Gayatri Prajapati, close to Shivpal, would be reinstated and Shivpal would be given back his portfolios.

Now that today, on October 23, 45 days after September 13, Akhilesh has gone a step further and has sacked Shivpal Yadav from his ministerial berth, as well three others including Jaya Prada (Amar Singh confidante), vocally targeting Amar Singh this time, we can gauge the obvious fact that it was just a temporary arrangement last month which had came at the cost of humiliating Akhilesh’s self-respect. So there doesn’t arise any question of Shivpal’s resignation now. He has been shown the door in clear, unequivocal terms this time.

There was never a ‘peace’ deal. After Shivpal was reinstated, he did everything that he could to downsize Akhilesh’s stature – sacking/expelling people from the SP who were seen close to Akhilesh, replacing names who were seen as Akhilesh Yadav’s people from the party’s list of candidates for the upcoming UP assembly polls and successfully reengineering Quami Ekta Dal’s (QED) merger into the SP fold which was foiled by Akhilesh in June as the QED is seen a front for the dreaded gangster Mukhtar Ansari.

So, what Akhilesh has done today was waiting to happen.

Akhilesh, on his part, has said that he will not leave the SP and will purge everyone who is seen close to Amar Singh.

But a vertical split is the most likely outcome in these circumstances.

If Mulayam continues with the stand he had taken last month, Akhilesh will be forced to find his own separate way.

Can Mulayam replace Akhilesh as UP CM, as Shivpal supporters have been demanding, when elections are just three-four months away?

Is Mulayam still confident enough that it is he in whose name people vote for the SP?

If Mulayam favours his son this time, Shivpal Yadav is expected to cause a vertical split in the party.

And whatever has to happen will happen soon as the UP assembly polls are just around the corner where the SP, with a huge anti-incumbency, is pitted against two formidable foes, the BJP whom the first round of opinion polls have shown winning the state, and the BSP, a favourite of analysts this time to win the polls – with its Dalit-Muslim social engineering.

©SantoshChaubey

GREAT! AFTER LAPTOPPED, UP IS NOW GOING TO BE SMARTPHONED!

So..Akhilesh Yadav has finally got the potion that will get him his opponents’ sleep – that will fetch him finally the stick to wield power over his rivals in the upcoming electoral battle in Uttar Pradesh where the incumbent assembly under him is completing its term in March 2017.

It will be a healing touch that, in one go, will transcend beyond all ‘ifs and buts’ and will transform the lives of all state residents, especially the downtrodden one that form the majority of the state, something that Akhilesh Yadav has been trying ever since he was inaugurated in the Lucknow secretariat.

He is justified in half-launching it. While the preparatory ground work is going to be laid out right at the moment, the real implementation phase to reach out to the intended beneficiaries will began only after the next assembly polls – conditioned to the conditionality that Akhilesh returns to the office.

And what’s wrong in that. After all, this one and, in fact, every political step that he takes to ensure his victory – over the rival factions inside his party – and over the political opposition – should be seen in this context only.

He began his term with a digital initiative – distributing free laptops. To give it his party’s socialist emblem, he christened it as ‘Samajwadi laptop’ and then rechristened with a Samajwadi home page. That was a milestone in introducing digital literacy in India and was a logical extension of the utterly illogical freebie culture in our elections – especially in the state elections – where from televisions sets, to cable connections, to mixer-grinders, to sarees, and to what not is on free fall.

So when Akhilesh Yadav, while announcing the scheme, claimed that he launched a comprehensive digital connect initiative much before Narendra Modi’s Digital India imprint, he has a point to make. If he is looking for some credit here that he should ideally be given.

And we hope this free smartphones scheme will go much beyond the numerical extent of the free laptops initiative. After all, it has the inherent cost advantage that could have been a factor with laptops in taking it to a wider base. If we talk about even the cheaper range of laptops, in the range of Rs. 40,000, we can have some 8 good smartphones in the price of one laptop. And a proper negotiation based on volume and scale can take this to 10 handsets.

Now, as per Akhilesh, the SP government under him has distributed around 18 lakh laptops in the state. If we take a direct corollary, that comes to be around 1.8 crore smartphones. Uttar Pradesh’s population is around 20 crore, out of which, around 12 crore are in the 15-59 age group (59.5%).

The scheme Akhilesh announced yesterday is for over 18 years of age and is basically for have-nots, having a family income below Rs. 2 Lakh a year. Also it not for the government sector employees. Anyway, no government salary bracket is in that lower range. So, there may be a bit of redundancy here. But that is ok. We must go by the larger canvas.

And the larger canvas is – Akhilesh wants to take his digital initiative to the next logical level – from a shared mode of communication (from laptops that is generally used by all users in a family) – to a personal channel – mobiles/smartphones – with individual users.

It is the logical next step of empowerment and we believe Akhilesh will try to cover the whole base here, so we can expect that even if the intended population segment represents some 8 crore members, Akhilesh will try to reach all of them.

And like said in the above lines, Akhilesh has all the rights to strengthen and perpetuate his legacy and for it, he needs more than one five-year term. So when he expects that people give him another chance and he links his aspirations with his next flagship initiative of free smartphones, like free laptops were during his first term, there is nothing wrong in it.

©SantoshChaubey

WHAT MINISTRY PORTFOLIOS OF UP TELL US!

Akhilesh Yadav, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state with maximum legislatives seats in Sansad (the Parliament of India) and in the state assembly, in a reform step (or in a corrective step), yesterday, dismissed some ministers and divested some others from his cabinet.

When Akhilesh Yadav had stormed the power corridors of Uttar Pradesh in early months of 2012 with a thumping majority, he had reignited hopes of expecting some positive change in the hopeless political culture of Uttar Pradesh – being dragged backward by a politics riddled with caste and religion – with no development.

The state saw hopes in a young CM, at 38, in spite of the past bad name of political excesses associated with his Samajwadi Party members.

Now, after almost four years, we can say it has been a complete letdown. We can safely that only the government changed in Lucknow, not the culture of governance. In fact, functionally, it got even worse than during Mayawati’s days. Bahujan Samaj Party’s Mayawati was UP’s CM for five years before Akhilesh Yadav won the office in 2012 election.

We don’t need to write much here. A cursory look at portfolios of some of the sacked and divested ministers is enough to tell the story how has been the political culture in the state. Here is the list (the complete UP Cabinet list is even more interesting):

Sacked – Cabinet Ministers

Ambika Chaudhary – Backward Class Welfare, Handicapped Welfare
Raja Mahendra Aridaman Singh – Stamp and Court Fees, Civil Defence, Registration
Shiv Kumar Beria – Textile and Sericulture Industries
Narad Rai – Khadi and Village Industries
Shivkant Ojha – Technical Education

Sacked –Ministers of State

Bhagwat Sharan Gangawar – MSME, Export Promotion
Alok Kumar Shakya – Technical Education
Yogesh Pratap Singh alias Yogesh Bhaiya – Basic Education

Divested from their portfolios:
(To be allotted fresh ones on October 31, i.e., tomorrow, when the Cabinet reshuffle takes place.)

Brahma Shanker Tripathi – Homeguards, Prantiya Raksha Dal
Iqbal Mehmood – Fisheries, Public Enterprises
Mehbood Ali – Secondary Education
Ramgovind Chaudhary – Basic Education
Awadhesh Prasad – Social Welfare, SC&ST Welfare, Sainik welfare
Parasnath Yadav – Horticulture and Food Processing
Raja Bhaiya – Food and Civil Supplies Minister
Ahmad Hasan – Health
Durga Prasad Yadav – Transport

So, there are quite innovative portfolios, even for petty functions like ‘Stamp and Court Fees’, ‘Civil Defence’, ‘Homeguards’ – there are different portfolios for ‘Social Welfare and Backward Class Welfare’, – clubbed portfolios like ‘Fisheries and Public Enterprises’ – various portfolios for Education, i.e., Technical Education, Secondary Education, Basic Education – and so on.

Obviously, most of the portfolios allocated in Uttar Pradesh don’t have functional spread of a size that require full time ministries – but as there are ministers – so there are ministries – with names that naturally bring a satirical smile.

After almost four years, Akhilesh Yadav has sacked some, and has divested some more, who will be given fresh portfolios tomorrow.

But there are many more with many controversies with them associated – and there are ministries like separate ‘Irrigation and Minor Irrigation’ portfolios, ministry for ‘Political Pension’, ministry for ‘Zoological Gardens’ and so on.

A look at the ministerial allocations in UP tells the emphasis has been more on accommodating as much names as possible than introducing a culture of ‘governance efficiency’ – and it reflects well in his government’s performance so far – and one more year is not expected to bring any change on the ground – even after this big reshuffle intended to give a ‘political message’ of ‘Akhilesh Yadav being more in control with a young Cabinet’.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

BADLANDS OF UTTAR PRADESH CONTINUE TO REMAIN BADLANDS

I remember an incident that goes 10 years back into my memory. I was returning to Varanasi from a nearby village in the Chanduali district. I was driving my bike on one side of the road keeping my speed around 50 Kmph. Suddenly, I found some voices shouting at me. When I looked back, I saw cavalcade of a local politician (possibly an ‘elected’ MLA) coming through. It had many SUVs and many more bikes. There wasn’t any road discipline. The vehicles of the fleet had covered almost of the width of the road and other vehicles coming from the opposite side had to leave the road to give pass to the cavalcade.

Though, I was not trying to be a hero but I felt it was wrong and I kept on driving on my line. I was already on the side of the road and there was enough of the space available for the cavalcade to pass and I thought they would adjust seeing that I was already on driving the side.

But I was wrong. Even if driving on one side, I was still on the road. I increasingly felt that some vehicle of the fleet would crush me if I didn’t take my bike off the road. Then, I suddenly felt a gush of dust and honking and don’t know how but my bike slid away from the road to the dusty patch of the open field.

The cavalcade that was driving at 70-80 Kmph on a narrow and poorly laid road of the rural Uttar Pradesh zoomed past me leaving me in a state of inertia of shock. The cavalcade, as long as it was in my sight, did the same thing with every other vehicle on the road.

This incident is a direct reading into the mind of the characters of many politicians who inhabit the power corridors of India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh (UP). Badlands of UP are now a statewide phenomenon with increasing number of tainted and criminal elements making their way into active politics and legislature.

The state has seen a sharp decline on this front in the last two decades. With dominance of issueless politics, the rowdy elements have registered increasing presence at the political forefront to exploit equations based on community and caste considerations.

Politicians like Raja Bhaiya are its living example. And he is not alone. There are many like Mukhtar Ansari, Amarmani Tripathi, Vinod Singh, Vijay Mishra, Abhay Singh and the list is long.

A feeling of dire hopelessness has crept in the state and it seems development and progressive politics are not going to happen any time soon.

It was this hopelessness that gave Akhilesh Yadav a landslide victory in the 2012 assembly election. He had to play it different.

Like the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Samajwadi Party (SP), too, has had a history of negative politics in the state promoting elements of goondaism and corruption.

But being a young face, a hopeless electorate saw some hope in Akhilesh that he would take a different stride away from the SP-brand of politics and will put the state back on the path of law and order and development.

Akhilesh Yadav is completing one year in the office on March 15, 2013 and that ‘some hope’ is totally shattered.

It’s not just about murder of a righteous cop in Kunda, where an already tainted state minister with dozens of criminal cases against him had to resign after allegations of conspiring to kill the Circle Officer of the state police force, the state has seen a flood of criminal incidents since Akhilesh took over in March 2012.

According to the media reports sighting the official state records, the state saw 2437 murders, more than 1700 cases of sexual assault and over 450 robberies during the first six months of Akhilesh’s tenure.  Another report in January said the state registered 1723 rape case in 10 months since Akhilesh took over. Since March 2012, the state has seen 13 communal riots.

It is not if the crime rate was more or less during Mayawati’s tenure. The state saw an atmosphere of overall decline during her term as the chief minister. Criminals and ‘criminal-turn-politicians’ ran amok. Corruption did every thing to be in league with the sky-high corruption of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. Law and order took a nosedive. Development became restricted to Mayawati-themed statues and parks.

But Akhilesh was given the charge to undo that and so any comparison with the record of the previous government can never be a plausible reasoning.

One year might not be enough to analyze the state’s development under Akhilesh Yadav but the chief minister has not been even indicative of working intently to bring the state back on the path of development and issue-based politics.

Instead, the badlands are getting more frightening. Criminals and ‘criminal-turn-politicians’ are still running amok. No one is talking of development. The politics of appeasement and political corruption continue to have their run unabated.

Yes, no one had expected miracle in March 2012, but at least, there was some hope that the process of reconciliation with a progressive brand of politics would be given some serious consideration with a younger energy at the helms of the affairs. That hope has taken a serious beating.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/