The supremo of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Mayawati, often takes pot shots at her strong political competitor Samajwadi Party (SP) for its nepotism. The SP gets irritated at this and the BSP leaders make fun by telling them that there is nothing wrong in it. If the SP is running with the help of nepotism then it should not hesitate to accept it. The family members of Mulayam Singh Yadav are occupying approximately all the significant positions in the party. Mayawati keeps her family members away from politics. She never supports her own family members to come into politics, yet she was unable to save her party from nepotism. The leaders who are close to her are unable to resist the urge to nominate their near and dear ones for the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. That is why Mayawati too isn’t shying away from giving tickets to the brothers and the nephews of powerful leaders in her party. Several leaders are succeeding in providing tickets to their family members. Amongst them, some even after getting being defeated by a large margin in the Vidhan Sabha Elections are again being chosen for the Lok Sabha Elections. While doing this, Mayawati may have forgotten the statement she made after the Vidhan Sabha Elections : that this time there were some discrepancies in the distribution of tickets. The way in which tickets are being distributed in the BSP, it is obvious that other leaders apart from Mayawati will also have a strong hold on the seats in the Lok Sabha Elections. The procedure for the selection of candidates in both the SP and the BSP is moving forward rapidly, but the BSP has made more progress than the SP. The BSP has decided its candidates whereas the SP is going to bring out the first list in November-December.
If we talk about the BSP, then it wants to decide the name of the candidates as soon as possible. Mayawati is leaving no stone unturned in this exercise. It is a different thing that there is still a long time left for the Lok Sabha Elections. The BSP is going ahead according to its strategies. From the picture of ticket distribution which came forward, it has become quite clear that the BSP will not rely on external supporters who want to hold its hands at the very last moment. The list of second rung leaders of the party is also being prioritised, but it is a different thing that the maximum leaders among them are family members of powerful leaders of the BSP.
Mayawati has started the candidate selection process with the National General Secretary and Member of the Legislative Council (MLC), Nasimuddin Siddiqui. Siddiqui who was in-charge of 14 Departments, was once considered as the Muslim face of the BSP. That is why his wife also became an MLC. Now it is the turn of his son, Afzal Siddiqui. The party has given the ticket of Fatehpur to Afzal, and has proved that the BSP has no reservations about relatives. Likewise, Swami Prasad Maurya is also supporting nepotism in politics. The BSP has proved it by providing a ticket to his daughter Sanghamitra. A few months ago, the BSP nominated Sanghamitra for the Vidhan Sabha Elections from Aliganj in Etah by withdrawing the ticket given to former Minister Avadh Pal Singh Yadav. Unfortunately the BSP was defeated in Aliganj, but Mayawati has seen such specialities in Sanghamitra that this time she has announced that Sanghamitra will contest in the Lok Sabha Elections from Mainpuri.
The SP Chief and one of contenders for the Prime Ministerial post, Mulayam Singh Yadav is also an MP from the Mainpuri seat and he is not going to change his candidacy from Mainpuri. That means a young lady of the BSP will contest against a veteran and most powerful leader of the SP. In such a situation, the competition will be very interesting. Likewise, the BSP has decided to nominate Mukul Upadhyay, brother of the Brahmin face of the party, Ramveer Upadhyay, from the Ghaziabad Lok Sabha seat. Mayawati had also provided the Fatehpur Sikri seat to Seema Upadhyay, wife of Ramveer Upadhyay in the last Lok Sabha Elections and she became an MP from there. It is obvious that this time too she will again get a ticket for the Lok Sabha Elections. Similarly, Raj Kumari Chauhan, wife of Ex-Minister and MLC, Jaiveer Singh won the last Lok Sabha Elections from Aligarh. This time also she will obviously contest form Aligarh. Savita Singh, wife of Dheerendra Pratap Singh alias Dheeru is also an MLC from the BSP. Similarly, Dheerendra Pratap has been given a ticket from Shravasti. Ex-Minister Ram Prasad Chaudhary is a Legislator from Captainganj, while his brother Arvind Chaudhary is an MP from Basti. This time it has been decided that he will be given the ticket. Mayawati had a special soft spot for the family members of Satish Chandra Mishra, powerful General Secretary in Mayawati’s Government. She nominated Nakul Dubey, relative of Mishra, as the Urban Development Minister. But the point is Nakul was defeated in the Vidhan Sabha Election from the Bakshi Ka Talab seat of Lucknow. Despite this, the BSP had confidence in Dubey and has allowed him to contest in the Lok Sabha Elections from the Lucknow seat.
The way in which tickets are being distributed in the BSP, it is obvious that other leaders apart from Mayawati will also have a strong hold on the seats in the Lok Sabha Elections. The procedure for the selection of candidates in both the SP and the BSP is moving forward rapidly, but the BSP has made more progress than the SP. The BSP has decided its candidates whereas the SP is going to bring out the first list in November-December.
As soon as some powerful leaders of the BSP succeeded in providing tickets to their relatives, then a deluge of ordinary leaders came forward : they too want to provide tickets to their near and dear ones. Coordinators and officials of the BSP are leaving no stone unturned to provide tickets to their relatives.
The SP is aware of the fact that its actual battle will be with the BSP only. That is why the SP keeps a detailed check on every move of the BSP. It is believed that the SP will decide the names of its candidates after having a look at the candidates of the BSP. It can be said that the speed of the BSP has galvanised the SP. Strategists in the SP say that the party wants to nominate such faces for the elections whose image is transparent and who are capable of winning as well. Naturally, the SP wants to decide the names of its candidates as soon as possible so that the candidates can get enough time to do some work in his or her area. The SP wants to bring out the first list at the end of November or in the first week of December. Actually the Chief of the SP, Mulayam Singh Yadav has mentioned that the Lok sabha Elections might occur before time, therefore the movement in the party has accelerated. The SP high command doesn’t want to send out to the public a wrong impression that they are lagging behind any other parties regarding the preparation of the elections, especially the BSP. The SP will firstly finalise the names of those candidates whose winning chances are greatest. That is why along with the claims of the candidates, the feedback of the current MP’s will be taken. The entire selection process of the candidates is being done with careful strategy by Mulayam Singh in Delhi. The main criteria for the selection of candidates will be the clear image and the loyalty of the candidate towards the SP.
Significantly, after winning the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha Elections with a full majority, the SP wants to make Mulayam Singh the ‘Sutradhaar’ of politics at the Centre. Mulayam Singh too has expressed his desire to become the Prime Minister of the country several times. He says continuously that for making the SP a powerful party nationally, it is necessary to win 60 seats from Uttar Pradesh. To achieve this goal, Mulayam Singh not only keeps an eye on the functioning of the Akhilesh Government in UP, but also do not hesitate to give suggestions when required. Mulayam doesn’t want to see any laxity at any level. When the SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary was asked about the challenge posed by the BSP for the Lok Sabha Elections, he said that the SP is fully prepared for the elections. As far as the challenges of the BSP are concerned, he said that due to the recent work done by the State Government, the trust of the public has increased in favour of the party and the public will not forget the misdeeds of the BSP either.
However, it can be assumed from the political equations that have emerged that although the family members of Mayawati will not contest in the Lok Sabha Elections, the relatives of other leaders of the BSP and the candidates of the SP will dominate the Lok Sabha Elections from UP.