When I saw the picture of Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav on the front page of a leading newspaper, being a student of Political Science, I was not amazed. The Indian political parties have been indulging in a marriage of convenience for a long time. The Congress had fought alone in the 2012 UP elections by claiming that Congress is there for a long haul and stated that it was there to fight caste-based regional parties such as the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party. However, the 2014 elections changed the entire game and the mighty Congress was reduced to just 44 seats in the centre. Desperate times call for desperate measures and hence, the bravado of 2012 has been replaced by pragmatism of 2017 and you can see the picture of Rahul Gandhi holding hands with Akhilesh Yadav in similar outfits and beaming smiles everywhere.
It is an old age saying that it takes two to tango; similarly, the Samajwadi party didn’t enter into an alliance to help the Congress; rather it has joined hands with the Congress to continue its reign in the Uttar Pradesh. The SP suffered from a dent in its image because of the increasing crime rates, handling of women related issues, corruption etc in its home state. In a bid to revive its victory of the earlier elections, the SP has sought to Congress to curb the claim of the Bhartiya Janta Party to come in the most populous state of the country which plays an essential role in forming the government at the centre. The menace which was created due to the personal feud between the members of the Yadav family added fuel to the fire. Rather than addressing the issues of the general importance, the SP was busy in solving its personal matters on various public forums such as rallies, conventions etc. It is imperative to say that this has largely worked against the SP.
Needless to say, this is not the first time that the political parties who were rivals before and have no ideological similarity, have come together to come into power. However, for a political party what should be more important is the fact that their subjects get benefited; which is often neglected. Neither of the parties who are contesting for the U.P. elections have shied away from playing the vote bank as well as caste based politics. For them, the main agenda has been to stay in the power for as long as they can. This stirs a question in my mind that if a political party which has come into the power and indulges in the development of the state, wouldn’t people elect it the next time on the basis of its achievement? However, nobody can predict the outcome of the pending U.P. elections because Indian voters vote differently every time. Who knows they just might like the ‘cycle of hope and hand of rights’.