Gerald Cvetko once stated, “We don’t have professional burglars. We have opportunists.” One can find several examples of such individuals in Indian politics. But at the moment, I am astounded by the change in stance of the Samajwadi Party (SP) with regards to the nuke deal.
Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh are the founders of the alliance of ‘regional parties’ and are determined to rule at the Centre. This alliance was named the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) and until last week, it vehemently opposed the nuclear deal. But suddenly, ‘strange’ things have happened and the founders of UNPA have decided to support the Congress, even when the Left pulls out from UPA (due to the deal), leaving the government without majority.
It seems that Singh has forgotten the dinner party that took place at Sonia Gandhi’s residence in the run up to the government formation in July 2004. CPI(M) leader Harkishen Singh Surjeet took Amar Singh to the dinner and he was ignored by the host. Singh was furious and his comment was, “I am very ashamed I went there. I should not have gone there.” But at the same time, he said that politics is “a game of patience and tolerance, and there is no need to act in haste.”
This statement sums the opportunistic nature of SP. Later in 2006, Singh attacked Gandhi, claiming that she had planned to murder him. He even declared that Gandhi should be held responsible for anything that might happen to him. Later, in a CD controversy over the sting operation, Singh told the media that Gandhi was a “hypocrite and a snake”. Yet, he recently enjoyed a ‘tea-party’ with Gandhi.
Such politicians appear to have an extremely selective memory, and they can easily digest their embarrassment, humiliation and animosity – all for sake of ‘national interest’.
Politics, at least in Uttar Pradesh, is the art and craft of the impossible. Bahujan Samaj Party is looking very strong and SP is very weak at the moment. They simply cannot afford the occurrence of an early election, which might result in heavy losses. Moreover, in its rule in the state SP ruined it completely for selfish interests and the crime rate grew at record pace while the development rate of state touched a new low. The party is not willing to face the ire of people of Uttar Pradesh at this moment. At the same time, it is trying its best to keep its traditional vote bank intact. This was the reason behind the meeting with APJ Abdul Kalam being consulted on the deal.
I feel that the fate of SP has already been written and it will not change even if it is able to buy time in order to prepare for Parliamentary elections. This political party has no ideology and is always looking to satisfy their vested motives.
A quote by James Cramer describes the SP best. “Remember, I am neither a bear nor a bull, I am an agnostic opportunist. I want to make money short and long-term. I want to find good situations and exploit them.”