Here's how criminal-turned-politicians could spell trouble for Akhilesh Yadav in upcoming UP elections

The latest embarrassment for Akhilesh came in the form of mafia don Atiq Ahmed who was given a ticket from Kanpur cantonment.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, has tried hard to build his image as a young leader who has zero tolerance towards criminal-turned-politicians and a person whose focus is only on the overall development of the state.

The defining moment for the young UP CM was in 2012 state assembly election campaign when he denied entry to DP Yadav, who is well known for his muscle power and ‘goonda acts’ in western UP.

Despite all the image building exercise, it seems that Akhilesh has lost the plot due to ‘limited powers’. Samajwadi Party state chief and uncle Shivpal Yadav has been busy welcoming and retaining noted criminals for party’s battle in the upcoming state elections.

The latest embarrassment for Akhilesh Yadav, came in the form of mafia don Atiq Ahmed after he was given a ticket from Kanpur cantonment seat. Ahmed is facing 44 cases of murders, extortion, and kidnapping.

(Courtesy: YouTube/India News)

Samajwadi Party is facing flak from all corners ever since the decision to give him a ticket from Kanpur was announced by Shivpal.

Other leaders who have left Akhilesh red-faced

  • Apart from the mafia don of Allahabad, Sibaqtullah Ansari is another person who could prove to be a major reason if the Samajwadi Party ship sinks in 2017 state assembly elections.Sibaqtullah is the elder brother of don Mukhtar Ansari, who has his own political party- Quami Ekta Dal (QED). At the core of his feud with uncle Shivpal was Akhilesh’s opposition to a merger with the QED. The feud played out in public in October with Akhilesh sacking Shivpal and his supporters from the cabinet.
  • Though there are rumours that his ticket would be cancelled anytime, but presently Amanmani Tripathi could also be dangerous for Akhilesh’s dream of becoming the UP CM once again.Amanmani was recently arrested by the CBI for the alleged murder of his wife Sara. The investigation was ordered by none other than Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Notably, Amanmani is the son of Amarmani Tripathi, an influential politician from eastern UP, who is currently serving a life sentence in the Madhumita Shukla murder case.

(Courtesy: YouTube/Samachar Plus)

What Akhilesh needs to do to win the UP elections?

  • Going beyond focusing on the development agenda only, the Samajwadi Party needs to redefine itself. Who and what the party stand for? By just claiming that the ‘cycle brigade’ are a group of socialist leaders won’t help them woo the voters this time.
  • Akhilesh also needs to restore the faith of Muslim voters. The SP’s Muslim base, which flocked to “mullah” Mulayam after the BJP’s rath yatra of 1990, shows signs of inching towards the Bahujan Samaj Party. Mayawati has gained ground among minorities, trends show that from 9.7% of the Muslim vote in 2002, she received 17.6% in 2007 and 20.4% in 2012. At a time when the SP hasn’t fulfilled its manifesto promises, it is expected that the Muslim voters may ditch the party this time.

It’s time the chief minister did some serious introspection about which way the Samajwadi Party is headed.