'Mayawati only believes in the policy of minting money'
Last updated on: January 20, 2012 08:45 IST
Mulayam Singh Yadav, the old political warhorse, in conversation with
Sharat Pradhan and Sheela Bhatt.
Mulayam Singh Yadav turned 72 last November, recovered from an
undisclosed serious illness, and now expects a fresh lease of
political life as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
His old political adversary, Uttar Pradesh's current Chief Minister
Mayawati, confronts the anti-incumbency factor in the coming state
assembly election, and may well see her dream of ruling the state for
another five years crumble at the hustings.
Mayawati -- who has the rare distinction of ruling unmanageable UP for
nearly five uninterrupted years, the first time any chief minister has
done so in more than 40 years -- is increasingly seen as a leader who
misused this power and ruled with an iron fist from her high-walled
palatial home while her Bahujan Samaj Party leaders and bureaucrats
Mulayam Singh founded and nurtured the Samajwadi Party.
During the evolution of India's regional parties, Yadav -- an early
adherent of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia's Socialist credo -- was one of the
leaders who changed the one-party tenor of national politics.
The Samajwadi Party is today a strong alternative to the BSP and its
grassroots presence in villages across a huge state like Uttar
Pradesh, a lesson to the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party, which
flounder in UP due to the lack of a pan-UP party infrastructure.
The so-called national parties are desperate to win anti-Mayawati
votes, but neither the BJP nor the Congress have the kind of presence
Yadav's party enjoys in the state.
Mulayam Singh, Union defence minister in the H D Deve Gowda and I K
Gujral Cabinets, and his elder son Akhilesh Yadav address more than a
dozen political rallies each day. Crowds throng to these rallies to
listen to their promises of free water, education and medicine if the
Samajwadi Party is voted back to power.
The Samajwadi Party is banking on votes from the Muslim community and
trying to ensure that the Congress does not succeed in its efforts to
woo the community.
In an interview with Sharat Pradhan and Sheela Bhatt at his sprawling
bungalow on Vikramditya Marg, Lucknow, Mulayam Singh Yadav discussed
the pitfalls of caste-based politics and his son's political
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