Fissures in the Samajwadi Party again resurfaced with senior leader Shivpal Yadav declaring that his brother Mulayam Singh Yadav will head a secular front to be formed by him.
Shivpal, who retained the Jaswantnagar Assembly seat during the recent elections, had recently given an ultimatum that the secular front would be formed if Akhilesh Yadav did not hand over the reins of the party back to his father Mulayam in three months.
“For social justice, ‘Samajwadi Secular Morcha’ will be formed. Netaji (Mulayam) will be its National President,” Shivpal told reporters in Etawah, the bastion of the Yadav clan.
The warring uncle of Akhilesh made the announcement after a meeting with Mulayam at a relative’s house in Etawah this morning.
Shivpal held discussions on forming the new secular front with them.
He, however, did not explain what the new front would do – whether it would contest polls against the SP or strengthen it by bringing socialists under one roof.
Shivpal had been saying that he would soon launch a campaign to unite “samajwadis” (socialists) to bring them on a single platform.
“Akhilesh had promised to hand over the party to ‘netaji’ (Mulayam). He should do so now and we all will strengthen the SP. I had also given him three months’ time. Otherwise, I will constitute a new secular front,” Shivpal had said on Wednesday.
The Samajwadi Party had witnessed a bitter feud between uncle Shivpal and nephew Akhilesh in the run up to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.
Shivpal had earlier replaced Akhilesh as the state unit chief following which Akhilesh removed Shivpal from the state cabinet.
Many in the party blamed the power struggle between Akhilesh and his uncle Shivpal as the reason behind Samajwadi Party’s dismal performance.
The Samajwadi Party contested the polls under Akhilesh’s leadership but suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the BJP.
Mulayam had earlier blamed Akhilesh for the Samajwadi Party’s poor performance in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections and said that his son had insulted him.
Mulayam said the voters understood that “one who is not loyal to his father, cannot be loyal to anyone” which led to the party’s poll debacle.
“I was badly insulted, which I had never faced in my life. Nevertheless, I tolerated it. No leader of any party in India had made his son a chief minister during his lifetime, but I made Akhilesh the Chief Minister of UP,” he had said.
After filing his nomination for the state polls in January, Shivpal had said he would form a new party after the election results are declared.
But, subsequently he had said there was no such move.
“Those who are claiming themselves to be samajwadis (socialists) had distributed tickets in Lok Sabha polls (2014) and party won only 5 out of 80 seats in the state. Because of them, in assembly polls too the party’s tally came down to 47 from 227 in the 403-member House. They should themselves analyse,” he had said.
Shivpal had recently said, “We will not let the legacy of ‘samajwad’ (socialism) to weaken and will soon launch a campaign to unite socialists to bring them on one platform.”
Following a bitter feud between the father and the son, Akhilesh had snatched reins of the party from Mulayam and their fight also reached the Election Commission.
Shivpal had indicated that the family could be united if Akhilesh stepped back and resigned from the post of national president accepting moral responsibility for the party’s dismal performance in the recent assembly polls.
But, Akhilesh confidant Ram Gopal Yadav had said a few days back that the Shivpal should read the constitution of SP before seeking resignation of Akhilesh.
Ram Gopal had said that Akhilesh would not resign under any circumstances and that there was no question of handing over the party to Mulayam.
(With inputs from PTI)