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,





Any which way you want to say 🙂

Or we can say,


Or we can say,


Or we can say,


Or we can the staple one 🙂 🙂







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.



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.



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.



Because the OBCs don’t figure in this!

Though the opinion is divided on the possible impact of the exit of Swami Prasad Maurya, the OBC face of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on BSP’s prospects, it is beyond any doubt that the prospects can prove detrimental.

It is further bolstered by the fact that Swami Prasad Maurya is yet to come clear on his future political plans.

On June 22, Swami Prasad Maurya, a BSP MLA and the Leader of Opposition of the party in the Uttar Pradesh assembly quit the BSP alleging Mayawati of being dictatorial and corrupt. He alleged that the OBC workers were being ignored in the BSP and Mayawati was indulged in open auctioning of the party tickets for the next assembly polls. Mayawati hit back and said Swami Prasad Maurya felt ‘suffocated’ in the BSP because she denied tickets to his son and daughter and that she herself was soon to expel Maurya from the BSP.

Two senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders, Shivpal Yadav and Azam Khan, rushed to praise Swami Prasad Maurya soon after it. They said he was a good person and a respectable politician. Azam Khan went on to the extent to say that he wanted Maurya to join his party. Akhilesh Yadav, the Uttar Pradesh chief minister, found him a popular leader.

But next day he became a ‘mentally unsound’ and lowly fellow when Maurya said that there was no question of joining the SP, a party of ‘goondas and mafias’. And it was the same Shivpal Yadav who described him with these words.

So Maurya is not joining the SP. He also met with the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and there are chances that he may find a place there as the BJP is trying to strengthen its OBC plank – with an OBC president and Narendra Modi himself being an OBC.

But it doesn’t impact the BSP. If Maurya’s move can at all be any threat, it will for the SP, the party UP’s OBC voters traditionally have voted for.

Swami Prasad Maurya has been the BSP’s OBC face. He is an influential leader and can help strengthening the balance of the OBC votes in the favour of the BJP. The SP is trying to check the split in the OBC votes, an SP forte, in case of any threat presented by another influential OBC leader, Nitish Kumar, the Bihar chief minister, and his party JD(U).

Projections, surveys and political analyses have started predicting a lead to Mayawati’s BSP.

In a television opinion poll in March 2016, she was shown winning 185 seats in the 403 members UP assembly along with 31% vote share, while the SP was shown reduced to just 80 seats with 23% votes. The projection showed the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) emerging as the second largest party with 120 seats and 24% votes.

Besides, Mayawati has also been cosying up with the Congress. Her decision to support Harish Rawat in the court monitored trust vote in the Uttarakhand assembly was a clear signal to the Muslim voters that she is against the BJP.

Her projected 31% vote share would make a formidable alliance when taken together with the Congress’s 12% that it got in the 2012 UP assembly polls.

That is more than enough for the party to sail through given the fact that the BJP swept UP in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls with a 42% vote share. The BJP along with its ally Apna Dal won 73 out of 80 UP Lok Sabha seats then.

Then there is another pillar of the BSP’s social engineering – the Brahmin votebank. Brahmins constitute around 13% of voters in the state and were an important factor in ensuring the BSP’s emphatic victory in the 2007 UP assembly polls.

These developments – coupled with the sky-high anti-incumbency against the Akhilesh Yadav government and a rock-bottom law and order scenario in the state – and with the BJP’s insistence on the OBC votes (the BJP made an OBC state president in UP by removing a Brahmin) gives the BSP an ideal platform to exercise its social engineering experiment – like it had done in the 2007 assembly polls that had sent Mayawati to Lucknow’s Secretariat with a complete majority in the UP assembly.

The Dalits constitute 20% of the state population and are seen loyal to Mayawati. They form a deadly alliance with the Muslims (18.5%) and the Brahmins (13%). That is a whopping 51.5% – more than enough to give the BSP an absolute majority.

And a Swami Prasad Maurya cannot do anything to hurt this prospect. Let’s see how the UP politics rolls out further. Let’s see if Mayawati can replicate her social engineering experiment of 2007 by building on the factors that again look in her favour.