17 January, 2021

Kushti In The Mud

Mulayam Singh finds the going tough in the Bundelkhand region Updates

Nirala Tripathi
Kushti In The Mud
When Mulayam Singh Yadav’s helicopter touches down at Dibyapur, 20 km from Auraiyan—a district carved out of Etawah—it is 3.25 pm. The dust swirls, a merciless sun beats down, but the crowd has swelled to a respectable number. It is, after all, home turf. This is one of the 62 constituencies which go to the polls on April 7 in the first phase of the long-drawn UP elections. Dibyapur falls in the Agra-Kanpur belt—which includes the badlands of Etah, Etawah and Mainpuri—considered the Samajwadi Party (SP) bastion in Uttar Pradesh.

It is Mulayam’s eighth and last meeting of the day, and even the enthusiastic slogans fail to energise him. The UP CM looks exhausted. It isn’t just the heat that is catching up with the wrestler from Saifai—it is the realisation that he is fighting the toughest battle of his life. "Softened" by an increasing association with the world of glamour and big money, Mulayam, says a one-time CPI(M) admirer, "seems to have lost his purpose in life, his cause. Now, it’s only about staying in power". But...



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