The battle between the two scions has the political temperatures rising in the state.
When the time comes to change everyone looks not at the old guard but at the new brigade. In Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls next month there are two scions from powerful political families trying to woo the voter.
Both — Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi — are foreign-educated and urban raised, yet they have been projecting a rustic charm to impress the common man. At some level, it seems to be Akhilesh versus Rahul in the fight for UP.
The uneasy relationship between 41-year-old bachelor Rahul and 38-year-old father-of-three Akhilesh proves that in politics there are no permanent friends or foes.
As the mercury dips in Lucknow, the battle of the scions has the political temperatures rising. While Akhilesh stands for the GenNext of Samajwadi Party (SP), Rahul has been the young face of the country’s oldest party Congress trying to revive its lost glory in the state.
Akhilesh has been steering the chariot of change in the state. The state chief of SP mingles easily drawing huge crowds and loud applause.
The Rahul versus Akhilesh battle has been on in the state for sometime now.
Targeting Akhilesh and his father sometime ago, Rahul said, “I know Akhilesh. He speaks English, uses computers, but Mulayam Singh says that the poor in UP don’t need computers or English. If that is so, why does Akhilesh speak English? Why does he use computers?”
When Headlines Today put the question to Akhilesh, he said, “I am not against computers or English but I want preference for Hindi and Urdu.”
As several representatives of lineage politics jump into the battleground, young voters analyse history. Headlines Today sought some common people’s opinions on the two young leaders.
“I think Rahul Gandhi should be the chief minister of UP… I am not too much inspired (by Akhilesh) because I have seen SP rule and too much corruption,” said a respondent answering whether Akhilesh inspired him.
Asked to compare the two leaders, another person said, “It must be Rahul Gandhi… I don’t like this party (SP).”
“I want if SP forms government in UP, Akhilesh should get a chance,” said another man in reply to a question on who should be the next chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
Akhilesh and Rahul are subjected to minute scrutiny and analysis. Akhilesh has the political genes on his side, but does he also have the genius to outmanoeuvre his opponents?