The Samajwadi Party’s association with the Congress undergoes stress over seat allocation in Madhya Pradesh.
In an unexpected move, Mr. Yadav has posted on social media, declaring that the 2024 elections will mark a “PDA revolution.”
After three days of hurling barbs at the Congress that have cast doubt on his party’s rapport with the INDIA alliance, Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav has turned heads by returning to his ‘PDA’ coinage while conspicuously omitting any reference to the opposition coalition.
The Samajwadi Party’s relations with the Congress have been strained following the Congress’s failure to reserve any seats for its INDIA ally in Madhya Pradesh, despite purportedly assuring the Samajwadi Party that it would consider its candidates for six constituencies. Since then, an incensed Akhilesh Yadav has been criticizing the Congress, and both parties have wound up fielding candidates against each other in 18 constituencies in the state, which is scheduled to hold Assembly elections on November 17.
On Sunday, via a post on X (formerly Twitter), Mr. Yadav shared a photo of an SP worker with their back adorned in the party’s signature red-and-green colors, along with a message inscribed in Hindi. The message reads, “Mission 2024. May Netaji (the late Mulayam Singh Yadav) endure eternally. ‘PDA’ will ensure Akhilesh Yadav’s victory in the forthcoming elections. Akhilesh Yadav will guarantee justice for the underprivileged.”
‘PDA’ signifies Pichde (backward classes), Dalits, and Alpasankhyaks (minorities), and Mr. Yadav has consistently maintained that PDA will triumph over the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Accompanying the post, Mr. Yadav expressed in Hindi, “The 2024 elections will be PDA’s revolution.”
Amidst the friction, following the Congress’s announcement of a candidate list for Madhya Pradesh, Mr. Yadav had, on Thursday, accused the party of deceiving other political entities. He even hinted that had the Samajwadi Party been aware that the alliance did not extend to the state level, they would not have been as open to the INDIA alliance.
“They assured us that they would consider us for six seats. However, when they revealed their candidates, there was no mention of the Samajwadi Party. If we had known that there was no state-level alliance, we wouldn’t have engaged. We wouldn’t have held discussions with the Congress,” he stated.
Responding to these comments, Kamal Nath, President of the Madhya Pradesh Congress, remarked, “Akhilesh and all this fuss… (let’s leave this commotion). The Congress state unit has clarified that the INDIA alliance operates at the central level with a focus on the Lok Sabha elections.”
A visibly perturbed Samajwadi Party leader persisted in his criticism of the Congress on Friday, questioning, “If the Congress continues in this manner, who will support them?”
On Saturday, Mr. Yadav conveyed that the Congress should not betray the Samajwadi Party and urged the party to clarify its stance on forming an alliance.
He commented, “I received a message through a senior Congress leader. If they are conveying something, I must adhere. However, I must emphasize one thing: why did they reach out to us if they had no intention of forming an alliance?”
He continued, “They should not conspire against us, they should not betray us. They should plainly communicate that they do not require Samajwadis. I promise that we will not broach the topic of an alliance and will prepare to contend against the BJP independently.”
Mr. Yadav also took a swipe at the Congress over its endorsement of a caste census, suggesting it was surprising that the party was advocating it now.
He stated, “This is the same Congress party that previously declined to release caste census figures. Now, it is widely recognized that without the support of the backward classes and tribes, one cannot succeed. It is astonishing that the Congress party is now seeking a caste census. The Congress party now understands that the voter bloc they were pursuing is no longer with them.