Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav seems to be considering to join a ‘third front’ against the NDA in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
If political experts are to be believed, SP’s National President Akhilesh Yadav these days is busy in building his image in central politics. He is not only fielding party candidates in various states, but is also participating in events organised by non-BJP parties. After the visit to Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, the SP’s National Executive meeting in Kolkata is being seen as a strategy.
Akhilesh also met Chief Ministers of various states during his visits to the national capital. Earlier, he went to Telangana and gave a message of solidarity there with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and CPI’s D. Raja.
A few days back he had reached Chennai, where he addressed a programme organised on the birthday of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin.
Akhilesh visited Gujarat on March 11, where he met former Chief Minister Shankar Singh Baghela. Now, the SP chief is on a tour to West Bengal between March 17 and March 19 to attend his party’s national convention.
A senior SP leader told IANS that Akhilesh is trying to fit himself in central politics. In absence of his father Mulayam Singh Yadav, the responsibility of taking the party forward in national politics has fallen on his shoulders. That’s why he is busy uniting the Opposition.
The way non-BJP parties have opened a front against the government over the alleged misuse of CBI and the ED.
SP leaders say that the party chief is working on a plan to take his party to the national level and promote the new generation of leaders.
SP’s national spokesperson Ashutosh Verma says that amidst the privatisation of government institutions across the country and the harrasment of Opposition parties by the government, Akhilesh has come forward to unite the Opposition. “He has been engaged in this exercise for the last four months. Only Akhilesh can become the axis of unity in the Opposition,” asserts Verma.
Senior political analyst Ratanmani Lal says that at this time Akhilesh has “dual opportunities” – one inside Uttar Pradesh and the other in the country. “Akhilesh considers himself the only challenger for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh. For this reason, he can be seen targeting the BSP as well as the Congress.”
While several parties are not ready to support the Congress, Akhilesh has kept all the options open. In Adani issue, he formed a human chain with the Congress. But in the case of Rahul Gandhi, he is silent. He is now weighing himself.
At present, many Opposition leaders are facing CBI and ED investigations. However, Akhilesh has got a “clean” image and can emerge as the leader who can prepare ground for the ‘third front’.
BJP state spokesperson Avneesh Tyagi says that since 2012, many experiments have been done but none has been successful. First, he (Akhilesh) contested the elections in alliance with the Congress. Then, SP and BSP became one. But could not defeat BJP. “People have completely rejected him. Now, no matter how much unity they create, they will not be successful.”