Akhilesh Yadav re-elected to lead Samajwadi Party

RSTV Bureau
File photo of UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.

File photo of Akhilesh Yadav.

Akhilesh Yadav has been re-elected as the chief of Samajwadi Party in party’s National Convention, its top meet, on Thursday. Party’s top brass, which had assembled in Agra for its 10th national convention, unanimously re-elected Akhilesh Yadav for the tenure of five years.

The announcement was made by senior SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav, who had played a pivotal role in Akhilesh getting firm grip over the party apparatus during the feud within its first family earlier this year.

Samajwadi Party’s constitution was amended to extend the tenure of the party chief to five years from the existing three years.

The 44-year-old leader will now remain at the helm for the period where the party will contest the 2019 Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections in 2022 under his leadership.

Among his upfront challenge will be the key Lok Sabha by-elections to be held in Gorakhpur and Phulpur (the seats vacated by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya). The polls will give the SP a chance to gauge which way the wind is blowing months after it faced a rout in the Assembly polls.

The state president’s tenure has already been extended by a similar period by the state executive and Naresh Uttam was unanimously re-elected to the post for five years.

Akhilesh, who was involved in a feud with Shivpal Yadav just ahead of UP assembly polls early this year, had recently dropped enough hints that there was no likelihood of any reconciliation with his warring uncle when he cautioned partymen to beware of “fake samajwadis”.

Mulayam Singh too, on his part had “blessed” Akhilesh, saying, “My blessings are with him (Akhilesh Yadav) as he is my son, though I don’t agree with his decisions.”

He had also ruled out forming any new party “as of now”, putting a lid on speculation that ahead of the SP national executive meeting he could part ways with the party he had formed 25 years ago amid the continuing battle for supremacy in the party.

Both Mulayam and Shivpal have been sidelined by Akhilesh ever since he snatched the crown of SP chief from his father at the party’s national convention here on January 1.

(With inputs from PTI)