Inside politics

Father vs son: Has Mulayam Singh Yadav finally given in to Akhilesh Yadav?

Will the chief minister be declared president of Samajwadi Party and given a free hand till the seven-phase Assembly elections are over in Uttar Pradesh?

A late night meeting held at the residence of Mulayam Singh Yadav has brightened chances of the Samajwadi Party founder finally giving in to his son, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, and declaring him the president of the party till the seven-phase Assembly elections are over in the state.

The development late on Thursday night followed the day long hectic efforts of Akhilesh Yadav to gather affidavits in his support from almost 90% of the MLAs, MLCs and the MPs of the party, while Mulayam Singh Yadav explored legal ways to stop his son from running away with the party the latter founded over two-and-a-half decades back.

The two Samajwadi Party factions have been asked by the Election Commission of India to submit all relevant documents, including affidavits from the party’s MLAs, MLCs and the MPs by January 9, in support of their respective claims to the election symbol.

After an extraordinary national convention of the party appointed Akhilesh Yadav as the president of the party replacing Mulayam Singh Yadav on January 1, the two sides gave their respective representations to the Election Commission, each claiming to be the real Samajwadi Party.

If Mulayam Singh Yadav, who has been left high and dry after the entire party showed signs of shifting to Akhilesh Yadav, sticks to the truce proposal, the EC may not get an opportunity to play an arbiter between the father and the son.

The late night meeting, which gave first indication of the breakthrough, was held after Mulayam Singh Yadav returned to Lucknow on Thursday evening, having spent the whole day in Delhi exploring legal options to keep the party under his control.

Besides Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav, the meeting was attended by the former’s brothers Abhay Ram Yadav, Rajpal Yadav and Shivpal Yadav, according to highly placed party insiders.

Though the party’s Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh, who accompanied Mulayam Singh to Lucknow, was also present at the latter’s residence, it could not be ascertained whether he attended the meeting.

For the sake of the party

These party insiders confirmed that “for the sake of the party” both Amar Singh and Sivpal Yadav offered to keep themselves away from the state politics. The extraordinary national convention of the party had adopted resolutions sacking Shivpal Yadav from the post of the party’s state unit president and expelling Amar Singh from the party.

A formal announcement of the truce is expected sooner rather than later, according to party leaders. “Mulayam Singh Yadav has to make the truce public and declare that he has made his son the new president of the party till the elections are over,” said a senior Samajwadi Party leader. “It is to prepare Mulayam for this announcement that a series of meetings have been taking place at his residence even on Friday,” he added.

Even while continuing to mount pressure on Mulayam Singh Yadav to agree to his son’s demands, the Akhilesh Yadav camp is simultaneously working to keep itself on sound legal footing. Ramgopal Yadav, a close aide of Akhilesh Yadav, is going ahead to submit all the supporting affidavits and other documents to the EC.

“Our demand is that the Election Commission should consider Akhilesh Yadav-led party as the real Samajwadi Party and allow us to use the election symbol of bicycle in the elections,” Ramgopal Yadav said.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Making two-wheelers less polluting to combat air pollution in India

Innovations focusing on two-wheelers can make a difference in facing the challenges brought about by climate change.

Two-wheelers are the lifeline of urban Asia, where they account for more than half of the vehicles owned in some countries. This trend is amply evident in India, where sales in the sub-category of mopeds alone rose 23% in 2016-17. In fact, one survey estimates that today one in every three Indian households owns a two-wheeler.

What explains the enduring popularity of two-wheelers? In one of the fastest growing economies in the world, two-wheeler ownership is a practical aspiration in small towns and rural areas, and a tactic to deal with choked roads in the bigger cities. Two-wheelers have also allowed more women to commute independently with the advent of gearless scooters and mopeds. Together, these factors have led to phenomenal growth in overall two-wheeler sales, which rose by 27.5% in the past five years, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). Indeed, the ICE 2016 360 survey says that two-wheelers are used by 37% of metropolitan commuters to reach work, and are owned by half the households in India’s bigger cities and developed rural areas.

Amid this exponential growth, experts have cautioned about two-wheelers’ role in compounding the impact of pollution. Largely ignored in measures to control vehicular pollution, experts say two-wheelers too need to be brought in the ambit of pollution control as they contribute across most factors determining vehicular pollution - engine technology, total number of vehicles, structure and age of vehicles and fuel quality. In fact, in major Indian cities, two-thirds of pollution load is due to two-wheelers. They give out 30% of the particulate matter load, 10 percentage points more than the contribution from cars. Additionally, 75% - 80% of the two-wheelers on the roads in some of the Asian cities have two-stroke engines which are more polluting.

The Bharat Stage (BS) emissions standards are set by the Indian government to regulate pollutants emitted by vehicles fitted with combustion engines. In April 2017, India’s ban of BS III certified vehicles in favour of the higher BS IV emission standards came into effect. By April 2020, India aims to leapfrog to the BS VI standards, being a signatory to Conference of Parties protocol on combating climate change. Over and above the BS VI norms target, the energy department has shown a clear commitment to move to an electric-only future for automobiles by 2030 with the announcement of the FAME scheme (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles in India).

The struggles of on-ground execution, though, remain herculean for automakers who are scrambling to upgrade engine technology in time to meet the deadlines for the next BS norms update. As compliance with BS VI would require changes in the engine system itself, it is being seen as one of the most mammoth R&D projects undertaken by the Indian automotive industry in recent times. Relative to BS IV, BS VI norms mandate a reduction of particulate matter by 82% and of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) by 68%.

Emission control in fuel based two-wheelers can be tackled on several fronts. Amongst post-emission solutions, catalytic converters are highly effective. Catalytic converters transform exhaust emissions into less harmful compounds. They can be especially effective in removing hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides and carbon monoxide from the exhaust.

At the engine level itself, engine oil additives are helpful in reducing emissions. Anti-wear additives, friction modifiers, high performance fuel additives and more lead to better performance, improved combustion and a longer engine life. The improvement in the engine’s efficiency as a result directly correlates to lesser emissions over time. Fuel economy of a vehicle is yet another factor that helps determine emissions. It can be optimised by light weighting, which lessens fuel consumption itself. Light weighting a vehicle by 10 pounds can result in a 10-15-pound reduction of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Polymer systems that can bear a lot of stress have emerged as reliable replacements for metals in automotive construction.

BASF, the pioneer of the first catalytic converter for automobiles, has been at the forefront of developing technology to help automakers comply with advancing emission norms while retaining vehicle performance and cost-efficiency. Its new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Mahindra World City near Chennai is equipped to develop a range of catalysts for diverse requirements, from high performance and recreational bikes to economy-oriented basic transportation. BASF also leverages its additives expertise to provide compounded lubricant solutions, such as antioxidants, anti-wear additives and corrosion inhibitors and more. At the manufacturing level, BASF’s R&D in engineered material systems has led to the development of innovative materials that are much lighter than metals, yet just as durable and strong. These can be used to manufacture mirror brackets, intake pipes, step holders, clutch covers, etc.

With innovative solutions on all fronts of automobile production, BASF has been successfully collaborating with various companies in making their vehicles emission compliant in the most cost-effective way. You can read more about BASF’s innovations in two-wheeler emission control here, lubricant solutions here and light weighting solutions here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of BASF and not by the Scroll editorial team.