With showing no signs of ‘compromise’, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav is expected to reach the Election Commission a little late after noon to stake his claim over the party symbol- cycle.
Ahead of the crucial Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, the party stands divided into two camps, i.e. the Akhilesh and Mulayam camp. CM Akhilesh Yadav has challenged his father for the party symbol and the post of the party chief. He has claimed before the EC that over 90 per cent leaders support him, hence he should get the symbol.
Yesterday, Akhilesh’s uncle and close aide Ram Gopal Yadav carried to the Election Commission six boxes of documents to prove that the UP chief minister now heads the state’s ruling party, having been named party president in place of his father.
Following Akhilesh camp’s claim, Mulayam asserted that he still remains the party chief and the national convention which named Akhilesh as the party chief was ‘illegal’.
“I am the national president, Akhilesh Yadav is the chief minister, Shivpal Yadav is the president of the Uttar Pradesh unit,” Mulayam Singh said, reiterating that the meeting that saw his son being named party president was illegal.
(Courtesy: YouTube/India TV)
Is a split imminent?
The SP appears to be on the verge of a split with Mulayam Singh Yadav asserting himself as party chief. After several rounds of failed patch up attempts between Mulayam and Akhilesh over the past week, Mulayam asserted his authority.
Mulayam also declared a recent party convention called by the Akhilesh faction, where the chief minister was named the party’s national president and Mulayam the adviser, as illegal. The SP convention in Lucknow last week had been called by party veteran Ram Gopal Yadav, whom Mulayam had expelled earlier and then taken back.
The SP supremo also negated a decision made by Ram Gopal saying that Shivpal was the SP’s UP unit chief.
Will the feud help Akhilesh?
Speaking to InUth, a Samajwadi Party leader said that the family infighting will help the young UP CM to cover the failures of his government on law and order, employment fronts by claiming that he was not allowed to work by ‘some elements’ against whom he has decided to fight.
The feud can also help Akhilesh to help him get rid of the anti-incumbency sentiment as he had been creating a perception that he had been burdened by too many power centres. He could portray himself as a leader who could- if given another chance- will change the state completely and will work towards the welfare of the people without compromising with ‘corrupt’ leaders.
Workers praying for peace
Scores of Samajwadi Party workers on January 8 performed a yagna at the famous Assi Ghat in Varanasi, praying for an end to the tug of war between Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal with barely weeks left for the crucial assembly polls in UP.
The yagna was performed to “cool down” the heated infighting and to make Akhilesh chief minister again, the workers said. The party men also prayed for the “long life” of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.