Today is the birthday of SP President and former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav. Preparations are underway for the 2022 assembly elections in UP. Akhilesh Yadav is also preparing to return to power with full force. Today Akhilesh Yadav is the national president of SP and is taking all the decisions of the party. He himself is finalizing each ticket, but do you know who gave Akhilesh Yadav the first election ticket and with whose help did Akhilesh complete the journey?
Most of the discussion goes on that Late Amar Singh brought Akhilesh Yadav into politics but this is an incomplete truth.
Apart from Mulayam, who contested from Kannauj?
In the 1999 Lok Sabha elections, the then president of the Samajwadi Party, Mulayam Singh Yadav won simultaneously from 2 Lok Sabha seats (Sambhal and Kannauj) in UP. Mulayam Singh Yadav resigned from the Kannauj seat. Kannauj seat fell vacant after Mulayam Singh’s resignation. Now the Samajwadi Party was looking for a leader who could contest the Lok Sabha elections from Kannauj seat and guaranteed victory. The Samajwadi Party was looking for a candidate.
Akhilesh Yadav was not concerned with politics then
Till that time Akhilesh Yadav was very far away from politics. He was not much concerned with the multiplier part of politics. Meanwhile, late Janeshwar Mishra reached his house to attend a meeting with Mulayam Singh Yadav. Janeshwar Mishra was one of the senior leaders of the Samajwadi Party and was the most trusted leader of Mulayam Singh Yadav. Janeshwar Mishra started the discussion of candidate in Kannauj seat with Mulayam Singh Yadav. Mulayam Singh was discussing some big faces with Janeshwar Mishra but Janeshwar Mishra did not appear to agree on any name. In this meeting, Janeshwar Mishra was smiling after listening to the words of then SP President Mulayam Singh but was not opening his cards.
Janeshwar Mishra further named ‘Tipu’
Mulayam Singh Yadav asked ‘Pandit ji you are hiding something, your smile is saying a lot. No one can understand you better than me. After all, you asked us all the names, Pandit ji, now you tell me who can win from Kannauj? Who should be given the ticket’?
Janeshwar Mishra immediately said without delay that Tipu. Mulayam Singh was shocked at this answer. He asked Tipu- means Akhilesh. Janeshwar Mishra said that ‘Yes, Netaji… Tipu. Akhilesh Yadav should contest the Lok Sabha by-election from Kannauj this time. Mulayam Singh Yadav said that I will be accused of familism if I give ticket to my son for Lok Sabha by-election.
Akhilesh Yadav will have to fight
On this argument of Mulayam Singh Yadav, Janeshwar Mishra said, ‘Netaji, this fight is not about the family of power but of the family of struggle. The seat we are asking to give ticket to Akhilesh Yadav is not a very safe seat. If Tipu doesn’t fight, he won’t win. But Akhilesh is young and he will work hard in Kannauj and SP will win. You finalize Akhilesh’s ticket from Netaji Kannauj. Trust me, Akhilesh will take the SP a long way.
Janeshwar Mishra put forward the first proposal in front of Mulayam
Mulayam Singh asked Janeshwar Mishra whether you have spoken to Akhilesh? Is Akhilesh ready to contest elections? Janeshwar Mishra said that I have not spoken yet. This is my first proposal which has been placed before you. You take a decision immediately, I will talk to Akhilesh. On this Mulayam Singh Yadav said that give me one month’s time, I will take a decision on this after talking to everyone in the party.
When Janeshwar Mishra was adamant for early decision
Janeshwar Mishra said, ‘No Netaji, you have to take a decision in 1 week’. Mulayam Singh Yadav said that good you give us 15 days time. Janeshwar Mishra said that you have to decide on this within 10 days. I am calling Tipu to meet me. Mulayam Singh said that Panditji, give some time, he will talk to everyone on this.
Here Mulayam Singh Yadav asked for 10 days time from Janeshwar Mishra and on the other hand Janeshwar Mishra talked to Akhilesh Yadav. Janeshwar Mishra said, ‘We want Akhilesh this time to contest the Lok Sabha by-election from Kannauj’. On hearing this, Akhilesh Yadav was shocked and asked, ‘Uncle, election! How will I fight, you asked Netaji. Janeshwar Mishra said that I have not spoken to anyone yet, I want you to contest from Kannauj, if you are ready then I will talk to Netaji.
The party needs young faces
Janeshwar Mishra told Akhilesh Yadav that at this time the party needs a young face who can take forward the socialist ideology. You are educated, intelligent and the party needs you at this time, my political experience says that you will strengthen the SP. I am not telling you this, but this is my order and you have to follow this order, I am going to talk to Netaji. I will tell Netaji that I have spoken to Akhilesh and he is ready to contest elections.
The point to be noted here is that Janeshwar Mishra had already spoken to Mulayam Singh Yadav and then met Akhilesh Yadav. Mulayam Singh Yadav had sought 10 days from Janeshwar Mishra to decide on Akhilesh, but Janeshwar Mishra reached Mulayam Singh Yadav on the second day itself.
Janeshwar Mishra told Mulayam Singh Yadav, ‘Netaji, now you have to take a decision. If Akhilesh contests from Kannauj, then it will be the election of his struggle. Akbar Ahmed Dumpy will contest elections there, it will not be so easy. Akhilesh will also have a litmus test whether he will be able to take the socialist movement forward or not. You are not giving politics to Akhilesh by decorating a plate, but will contest elections and the public has to decide.
He further said, ‘I believe that a new generation of Samajwadi Party will be prepared by Akhilesh coming into politics and contesting elections. It is very important to connect the youth with the SP at this time. You don’t need to worry about allegations of familism. If Akhilesh has the ability, he will move forward. Now you accept my point and finalize Tipu’s ticket from Kannauj. Anyway, Kannauj is a Brahmin dominated seat, the Brahmin face of your party is asking you to give ticket to Akhilesh. I will campaign for Akhilesh, don’t you worry, Tipu is like my son’.
After discussion for a long time, Mulayam Singh Yadav said that Pandit ji, you are very stubborn, whatever decision you want to get done, he gets it done. You talk to Professor Ramgopal Yadav and Amar Singh. Then Janeshwar Mishra spoke to Professor Ram Gopal Yadav and Mulayam Singh spoke to Amar Singh. In the end, Janeshwar Mishra was successful in his first mission and Akhilesh Yadav was declared the candidate of Samajwadi Party in the Kannauj Lok Sabha by-election. Mulayam Singh Yadav said that Pandit ji you will definitely participate in the nomination from Akhilesh and Amar Singh, Professor Ram Gopal Yadav will also be there.
The by-election of Kannauj in 1999 was not so easy. Ahmed Akbar Dumpy was contesting the election in front of Akhilesh Yadav. At this time there was no SP government in UP. Janeshwar Mishra prepared a complete strategy for Akhilesh’s election in Kannauj. Janeshwar Mishra joined Akhilesh Yadav’s nomination in Kannauj. Janeshwar Mishra sent SRS Yadav from SP office to Kannauj to manage Akhilesh’s election. Akhilesh Yadav used to stay at the Bharat Hotel in Kannauj during elections. Akhilesh and SRS Yadav used to stay in the same room in Bharat Hotel. Akhilesh Yadav was successful in climbing the first ladder of politics from Kannauj. Akhilesh Yadav won the Kannauj by-election by a long margin and became an MP for the first time.
A few years after this election, Janeshwar Mishra entrusted the big responsibility of the party to Akhilesh Yadav. Janeshwar Mishra made Akhilesh Yadav in-charge of all the youth organizations of SP. Akhilesh was made in-charge of Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha, Lohia Vahini, Chhatra Sabha and Mulayam Singh Yadav Youth Brigade. While handing over this responsibility, Janeshwar Mishra told Akhilesh Yadav that now we have to change the image of SP and its responsibility is on your shoulders. Connect more and more youth with the party.
After this, Akhilesh Yadav continued to become MP from Kannauj. June 3, 2009 is considered the turning point of Akhilesh Yadav’s political career. On this day, the Samajwadi Party made Akhilesh Yadav the state president of UP. Janeshwar Mishra’s hand was also behind this responsibility. Janeshwar Mishra had told Akhilesh Yadav on June 2 that now you have to bring back the SP government in UP in 2012. Work hard, ride a cycle, travel and make the organization so strong that the SP government comes to UP.
The responsibility which was entrusted to Akhilesh Yadav by Janeshwar Mishra, was fulfilled by Akhilesh Yadav in 2012. Samajwadi Party government was formed in UP with 224 seats and Akhilesh Yadav became the Chief Minister. But Janeshwar Mishra could not become the witness of this moment. Janeshwar Mishra passed away on 22 January 2010.
I had a meeting with Akhilesh Yadav in 2016-17. At that time many schemes were run in the name of Janeshwar Mishra in his government. Akhilesh Yadav built the biggest park of UP in Lucknow, named Janeshwar Mishra Park. I asked him what was the role of Janeshwar Mishra in your political life. Akhilesh Yadav told me that ‘he is my political guru, he is my mentor and has always told me the difference between right and wrong’.
Just a few days ago, I met Akhilesh Yadav once again and Janeshwar Mishra was being talked about. Akhilesh Yadav recalled some words of Janeshwar Mishra in 1999 and said, ‘Janeshwar ji used to tell me that new youth, new enthusiasm and new strength will be Akhilesh’s identity. He came in my first election, got me ticket and made me win the election too. Akhilesh said that it is my duty to take his ideas forward. He expected from me that I would continue to work hard in taking forward the socialist movement, I still carry his words and ideas with me in my politics.
There are assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh in 2022. The biggest challenge before Akhilesh Yadav is to return to power in UP. Akhilesh Yadav’s fight is directly with BJP. Akhilesh’s journey started from Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh, will it be able to do wonders in 2022? The eyes of the whole country are fixed on this. Although Akhilesh Yadav is working very hard these days. When unlocked after the first phase of Kovid, Akhilesh visited all 75 districts of UP.
Akhilesh Yadav participated in the training camp on 240 assembly seats. During this, he used to reach the house of SP workers till 12-1 pm. During training camps in each district, he used to interact with about 1,500 workers and posed for photographs with them. Apart from this, Akhilesh Yadav has started work on social engineering in UP. Many strong leaders of BSP, Congress and BJP have been included in the SP. That is, before the election, Akhilesh is busy in fixing all the nail thorns.
(The author is Vishal Pandey, correspondent for ZEE NEWS. The views expressed in this article are his personal views)