Allies of the Samajwadi Party are now getting increasingly restive, following the party’s stunning defeat in Rampur and Azamgarh that were considered to be the strongholds of the party.
“Akhilesh Yadav needs to do some serious rethinking about his party. He needs to move out of the air-conditioned comfort of his home and office and should connect directly with the people,” said Om Prakash Rajbhar, president of the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP).He said that politics was now a 24×7 job and it would be better if Akhilesh realized this.
“The BJP is on a winning spree because it never stops working at the ground level. The by-elections are over and BJP cadres have been tasked with preparations for the Lok Sabha elections which are almost a year and a half away,” he said.
Janwadi Party chief, Sanjay Chauhan, another ally of the Samajwadi Party, also slammed the SP for its defeat in the by elections.
“Akhilesh Yadav did not campaign and this dampened the mood of party workers. I do not know if he was over-confident or not but he should have campaigned, Azamgarh was his own constituency and his absence had an adverse impact on voters and supporters,” he said.
A section of party leaders is of the opinion that by keeping senior Yadav leaders away from the campaign, Akhilesh sent a wrong message to Yadav voters.
“Azamgarh was Mulayam’s constituency but he did not even issue an appeal for Dharmendra Yadav. Shivpal Yadav was excluded from the campaigners’ list. Other Yadav leaders like Dimple Yadav, Tej Pratap Yadav also did not campaign. It seemed that Akhilesh was taking Yadav voters for granted even though he knew that the BSP candidate Guddu Jamali would make a dent in Muslim votes,” said a party functionary.
Pallavi Patel of Apna Dal (K), who won the Sirathu seat on SP ticket, also said that SP leadership needs to do some introspection about its strategy before ‘it is too late’.
Shivpal Singh Yadav, who heads the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia (PSPL) and has been elected to the state assembly on SP ticket, also voiced his displeasure with Akhilesh’s style of working.
“There is no point is talking too much about what has happened. Everyone knows who went wrong where. There is very little time left for the general elections and the party leadership should do some rethinking,” he said.