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Panellists warn that in poll season, nothing is likely to be permanent

In poll time, equations often change. Lines are merging between friends and foes. Mulayam Singh Yadav has turned against Samajwadi Party Number 2 Shivpal Yadav, and is backing his son, Akhilesh. Meanwhile, Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s decision to contest from Wayanad is also being questioned by many leaders, including those from Kerala. Congress’s big brother attitude is affecting the mahagathbandhan(grand alliance).  APN’s popular debate Mudda discussed the issue. Anchorperson Vandana posed the questions to panellists, including the Congress’s Kamlesh Raman, BJP’s NP Singh, SP’s Vinay Kumar, PSPL’S Arvind Singh, and APN consultant Govind Pant Raju.

Arvind Singh said: “Mulayam still feels strongly about Shivpal. That they are going independent ways is their internal family matter.”

Vinay Kumar said: “Mulayam Singh Yadav gives his blessings to Shivpal and to the PM as well. This is the essence of the Indian culture. SP and BSPmahagathbandhan is like shakti.” He evaded the question of the Congress’s role in the mahagathbandhan.

NP Singh said: “How can they talk of Indian culture when they played dirty family politics in the open?”

 Raju said: “Mulyam Singh Yadav is a senior leader, but now he’s aging, so we can’t take everything he says at face value. He tends to forget things, and is likely to make comments that he does not mean to say. However, his political thinking and actions have been steady, he has worked very hard for his party, and had struggled hard in the past like cycling in the hot sun and so on. This is why he has stated that in the next Vidhan Sabha elections, SP is sure to some to power. Akhilesh is doing what he thinks he can. Alliance with BSP may not be exactly what Mulyam Singh Yadav wants. In the coming state polls, things can be very different, this gahthbandhan talk is not so steady and the equations are likely to change when it comes to the state polls.”

Vinay Kumar said:”There is nothing wrong with our mahagathbandhan. BJP is all out to break the nation.”

Vinay Kumar said: “Dalits and OBCs are being neglected, BJP is doing nothing for them. They can’t come near Gorakhpur that is nurtured by our leader.”

On Rahul Gandhi’s decision to choose Wayanad seat, Raman said: “People want Rahul to contest from Wayanad. It is not that Rahul is fleeing from Amethi, the nation needs him at this point. Congress is a national party and the leaders can contest from any seat.”

Vandna asked her why Rahul did not choose Amethi. Raman said:”Things are still flexible. Smriti Irani is an important leader, but it is not that Rahul is scared of her. Rahul will take a decision as per what people want. This is democracy. If the Left in Kerala has expressed that Rahul should be fighting the BJP and not left, it is their thinking, Rahul will be taking an independent decision.”

NP Singh said: “If Rahul was sure about Amethi, he would not think of Wayanad.”

Raman said:”BJP made everyone get into queue in demonetisation days, confused people on GST.” To this NP Singh said: “All that has helped BJP.” After this point, a verbal wrangle ensued between NP Singh and Raman.

Raju said: “Rahul has gone to Wayanad since it’s considered a junction of three states, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Congress has been winning from there. There is nothing wrong in this.”

Vinay Kumar said: “How strong Akhilessh is, the coming polls will show. This election is about unity of the nation, the fight is against the failure to deliver on promises like employment.”

Vandna asked if Rahul is scared of Smriti Irani? To this Raju said: “It is perfectly alright to contest from anywhere. Smriti Irani will be giving a tough fight to Rahul for sure, but it is also a fact, that Rahul should have done more for Amethi and not treated Amethi like a picnic. It is clear that compared to last time, this time getting back his Amethi seat will be far tougher, so he might be looking for safer options.”

Raman said: “Scared is too small a terminology to be used for such a strong national leader like Rahul Gandhi.”

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