As Akhilesh Yadav is being annointed as the new Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, a very interesting development is playing itself in the background. Hidden in the euphoria and hype surrounding the ascension of the new CM , the choice of the Azam Khan as the new Speaker is equally important and deserves a close study to unravel the layers of intricate details of Indian politics.
This was perhaps, the most important and correct decision that Mulayam Singh Yadav has taken in his political career. Unlike Karunannidhi or Badal, he has not tried to keep the reins of the state in his own hand till eternity. Wily politician that he is, the mood of the people has been very well gauged by him . But the backstage machinations and the compromises he has had to make within his party in spite of the huge mandate has been also been large.
To ensure victory, Mulayam had allowed a free hand to his son Akhilesh to formulate strategy for the elections. But at another level, he went back to his old votebank of the Muslim community and here, Azam Khan was the person whom he had to rely upon to deliver him the precious votes from this segment. SP was off course helped by the inept handling of the Muslim aspirations by a ridiculous Congress bid with people like Salman Khurshid and Beniprasad Varma convincing the Muslims about their perception of Congress as a party that can not be trusted to fulfill its election promises.
The victory of SP is not only for Mulayam or Akhilesh as is being projected by the coffee table analysts and city bred TV anchors . It is also all about the consolidation of Muslim votebank in UP alongwith other segments. After their brief fllirting with the BSP and Congress , the Muslims in UP have understoood the hollowness of the two parties. The Congress cannot and will never be able and BSP will always have the interest of the Dalits foremost. So SP was the natural choice for en-block voting by the Muslims as BJP became haaraam to them once Uma Bharati arrived on the scene.
Azam Khan now emerges from the shadows to become a force to reckon with in Indian politics. Whether you like him or not, whether you think him to be representing a retrograde political philosophy or not. That's not the question. The fact remains that he now holds a considerable degree of power to influence the decisions of Mulayam , who himself should be one of the movers and shakers of Delhi politics provided his health permits.
The UPA government is beseiged with numerous problems, The P.M. looks like a clueless joker waiting for the prompting from the wings. The prompter herself does not look interested as she is fighting serious health problems. The prince has not been able to prove himself. The local satraps are slowly and surely raising their ante. The only thing which is propping up the UPA government is ironically an even more idiotic and clumsy BJP which looks like a misguided tramp in search of El-Dorado. This is the time when the vaccum will play out its own game and very interesting permutations and combinations will start taking shape. We are approaching another threshold of Indian politics which will prove as much a game changer like the Emergency or Mandal commission.
And also watch out for Azam Khan. His fate has smiled on him and his destiny has brought him upto this point after many ups and downs. He will go far.