With elections to the Uttar Pradesh assembly now just a month or so away, a family feud has complicated matters for the ruling Samajwadi Party even as cheering rival BJP and BSP camps strategize on how best to reap the gains. Although the state has been politically stable in terms of government tenures since 2003, it has seen long periods of flux, particularly between 1989 and 1997.
For instance, rivals SP and BSP came together briefly in 1993 with Mulayam as CM, only to fall out 18 months later. BSP then struck an alliance with BJP, but was in power only briefl y. Twice, in 1993 and 1996, elections in the state threw up similar results.