Mulayam, Akhilesh Take Stock as SP Tumbles to Historic Low of 5 LS Seats
Candidates say sabotage by senior ministers, lack of cooperation by the state govt and Modi wave led to defeat Reeling from the drubbing received in the Lok Sabha polls, Samajwadi Party candidates blamed sabotage at the hands of senior leaders, non cooperation of the administration, politically damaging decisions during poll process for their defeat.
With the SP touching its historic low of 5 Lok Sabha seats in this election, down from the 22 it had won in 2009, party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav called a meeting of all candidates on Monday. While many candidates blamed the Modi wave and hype around his campaign for the loss, some of them did not shy away from blaming leaders within the party of working against them.
Internal differences came to fore when leaders like Shafiqur Rehman Barq and Neeraj Shekhar alleged SP ministers in their districts sabo- taged their campaign. While Mulayam and Akhilesh Yadav did not reveal their minds, action is expected against those who worked against party candidates. There would be massive overhauling of the party organisation and new faces are to be inducted as part of the revival exercise. Barq who was a sitting BSP MP from Sambhal, part of the Mulayam Singh Yadav stronghold, had shifted to the SP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. He was an SP candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabah polls and despite the Modi wave where most BJP MPs got elected by huge margins, Barq lost by the narrowest margin of 5,100 to BJP’s Satypal Saini. Barq told Mulayam Singh Yadav that minister Iqbal Mahmood did
Many blamed the euphoria around Modi as the reason for the crushing defeat of SP candidates
not support him during the election campaign. Barq alleged that Mahmood and his family members openly opposed him, which resulted in his loss. Mulayam Singh Yadav gave a patient hearing to all candidates with many blaming the euphoria around Modi as the reason for their defeat. Many even blamed the bureaucracy for not being cooperative in getting people’s work done ahead of the Lok Sabha poll notification.
Mulayam Singh Yadav said that he was aware of the problems that candidates faced from party ministers and officers. He said that candidates should go back and continue meeting people. He also sought a report from each constituency to be prepared by candidates and sent to the party head office. Some ministers and chairmen of state corporations and boards are said to be under the scanner and may lose their jobs in the days to come.