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Buoyed by Lok Sabha success, Akhilesh eyes national politics

Jun 12, 2024 10:05 PM IST

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav transitions to national politics after UP Lok Sabha victory, resigns from assembly seat to focus on MP role in Kannauj.

LUCKNOW: After dealing a blow to the Bhartiya Janta Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the 2024 Lok Sabha election in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav has decided to transition to national politics.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav (File)
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav (File)

Yadav has resigned from the Karhal assembly seat, which he won in the 2022 assembly election, and decided to continue as the MP from the Kannauj Lok Sabha constituency, where he emerged victorious in the recent parliamentary election. Yadav also stepped down from the leader of the opposition post in the UP Legislative assembly.

Principal secretary of the UP Legislative Assembly, Pradeep Dubey on Wednesday said that a letter regarding Akhilesh Yadav’s resignation from the Karhal assembly seat had been received and accepted.

Also Read | 2024 has made communal politics irrelevant: Akhilesh

On Tuesday, the SP chief indicated his intention to resign from the Karhal assembly seat and retain the Kannauj parliamentary seat. During a two-day visit to his ancestral village Safai in Etawah district, Akhilesh held discussions with party workers from Karhal and Mainpuri regarding his resignation from the Karhal seat.

He also discussed with senior party leaders about the future strategy after the formation of the Modi 3.0 government at the centre. There was a general consensus among the party leaders and the Yadav family that, after the victory of the INDIA bloc in Uttar Pradesh, he should move to the central political arena to establish the SP as a national party, said an SP leader familiar with the developments in the meeting.

In the 2024 Lok Sabha election, Akhilesh emerged on the national political stage by halting the BJP’s victory march in Uttar Pradesh. The setback in Uttar Pradesh, where the seat tally declined from 62 in the 2019 Lok Sabha election to 33 in the 2024 parliamentary election, prevented the BJP from gaining a majority on its own in the Lok Sabha.

Also Read | Beyond the news: How poll outcome may reshape UP politics

The SP emerged as the single largest party in Uttar Pradesh, winning 37 seats, and became the third-largest in the country after the BJP and Congress. The party’s vote share also increased to 33.38%, compared to 18.11% in 2019. Earlier, the SP had won 35 seats in 2004 when SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav headed the government in Uttar Pradesh.

To breach the BJP’s non-Yadav OBC and non-Jatav Dalit support base, Akhilesh worked on the PDA—Pichada (backwards), Dalits, and Alpsahkhyaks (Muslims) formula. By stitching an alliance with Congress, he consolidated his hold over the traditional support base of Muslims and Yadavs.

Senior SP leader Rajendra Chauhary said that the mandate the SP received in Uttar Pradesh should be viewed in a national context. The SP garnered support from all communities in defeating the BJP in its Hindutva stronghold. He attributed the charismatic personality of party chief Akhilesh Yadav to the INDIA bloc’s success in dealing a blow to the BJP, with the alliance winning 43 seats in UP.

In order to spread the message of the PDA and expand its influence in other states, Akhilesh Yadav has decided to venture into national politics. Chauhary mentioned that soon, the Samajwadi Party would appoint in-charges in various states. Additionally, the SP will organise meetings in other states to broaden its support base.

The Samajwadi Party boasts a battery of leaders poised to carry forward the victory achieved in the 2024 Lok Sabha election to the 2027 assembly election. Party leaders, committed to the ideology and loyal to the party chief, will be entrusted with the task of challenging the BJP in Uttar Pradesh and consolidating the gains made in the 2024 Lok Sabha election, stated a SP leader.

Former head of the political science department at Allahabad University, Professor MP Dubey, remarked that Akhilesh’s move to national politics is aimed at making the SP a national party. He emphasized that the timing is opportune for Akhilesh, given the encouragement received from Uttar Pradesh in the 2024 Lok Sabha election. Now, he is poised to play a significant role at the national level as a key leader of the INDIA bloc.

The chemistry between SP and Congress is proving effective, and Akhilesh intends to leverage it to expand the party’s base in other states. While at the centre, he can oversee political activities in UP and mobilise the party cadre for the 2027 assembly election, he said.

“By being at the centre, Akhilesh aims to establish his identity as a national leader who effectively countered the magic of Modi and Yogi to pave the way for the victory of the INDIA bloc. Akhilesh’s performance in UP was commendable, and he will seek to demonstrate similar effectiveness at the national level,” Prof Dubey added.

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