Background

Samajwadi Party (SP), founded in 1992, is an offshoot of erstwhile Janata Dal (JD). Janata Dal after VP Singh has split umpteen number of times and there is a JD from A to Z {JD(A), BJD, RJD, JD(S), JD(U) etc.).

SP is a regional party with strong presence in Uttar Pradesh. Currently it has 23 seats in Parliament making it the 3rd largest party behind Congress and BJP. In 2004, it recorded its best performance by winning 35 seats, however, it could not become part of govt. as UPA didn’t require its support. Currently, though, day in and day out, its leaders slam Congress and its policies, it provides crucial outside support to govt.

Its a family fiefdom, Mulayam is the President of the party, his son Akhilesh is the Chief Minister of UP, his daughter in law Dimple is a Memeber of Parliament, his brother Ram Gopal Yadav is Leader of the Party in Rajya Sabha. Some prominent leaders like Raj Babbar, Beni Prasad Verma and Amar Singh have left the party because of this.

Mulayam has been CM of UP thrice. He was also the Defence Minister of India during 1996-98 Gowda’s / Gujral’s govt. He has outstanding dues to Govt. running in crores for using Indian Air Force planes / helicopters for private visits. In 2012, SP came back to power with a thumping majority and Mulayam made Akhilesh the CM as he wanted to concentrate on national politics.

As UP represents 15% of Lok Sabha seats, Mulayam feels a sweep here could propel him to become PM, given chances of Congress and BJP getting a majority on their own is less. We can’t stop him from daydreaming. His inspiration are Deve Gowda and Gujral. The party has joined Third Front to take on the might of UPA and NDA.

Election Symbol

Samajwadi Party symbol

Historical Performance in Uttar Pradesh (Lok Sabha)

  1996 1998 1999 2004 2009
Seats Won 16 20 26 35 23
% of UP Seats 18.8% 23.5% 30.6% 43.8% 28.8%

Party has been a strong contender in UP for the past 2 decades. Its best performance in 2004 went down the drain as Congress didn’t require him. Party has created a strong votebank of Muslims & Yadavs.

Possibilities in 2014

People in UP are fed up with their 1 year of misrule and building up to the elections there is a strong anti incumbency against SP. Muzaffarnagar riots have alienated its Muslim voters and polarised the Hindu votes. Plus a rejuvenated BJP under NaMo is set to spoil its chances.

Polls predict a mixed bag for SP ranging from 10-20 seats. Politicalbaaba projects 14 seats for SP. If Third Front comes to power, people like Nitish, Naveen Patnaik won’t allow Mulayam become PM. Hence his dream will remain a dream. BUt he could get some key ministries including Defence Ministry.

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