In middle of last year’s high-octane Lok Sabha campaign, Narendra Modi had thumped his “chappan inch ka seena” (56-inch chest) and had taken pot shots at Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, saying he did not have it in him to make Uttar Pradesh a developed state like Gujarat.
On Friday, at a public rally in Saharaswa in western Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Modi called the Yadav chieftain a “respected leader” and vouched for his credentials as a champion of democracy! While the wholesome praise by its tallest leader left BJP leaders present on the stage and even in the state capital squirming in their chairs, the underlying political message was not missed by any.
While it is almost impossible that the two forces would ever come together in the future, political observers here say that for now “aag dono taraf se barabar lagi hui hai” (it’s a romance from both sides). For the BJP, parliamen’s upper house has become an Achilles heel as many bills are stuck in wake of an adamant Congress, which enjoys a majority in the Rajya Sabha.