The bitter in-house feud Uttar Pradesh’s ruling Samajwadi Party seems to be far from over. On Wednesday, party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav announced the candidates for 325 Assembly seats, snubbing his son and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s talk of alliance. A day later Akhilesh spoke to senior Yadav conveying his displeasure.
Significantly, Mulayam Singh had announced the candidature of his brother Shivpal Yadav, but ruled out projecting Akhilesh as the Chief Ministerial candidate.
A clearly upset Akhilesh on Thursday met his supporters at his 5-Kalidas Marg residence in Lucknow and later spoke to party patriarch Mulayam Singh to convey his displeasure over the list of candidates from which names of his close confidants were missing, party sources said.
Party sources said the Chief Minister, before meeting Mulayam, met legislators and office bearers who do not figure in the list of nominees.
The list, which includes 176 sitting MLAs, announced by Mulayam and Shivpal in the absence of Akhilesh, has left out several pro-Akhilesh ministers, including Ram Govind Chaudhary, Pawan Pandey and Arvind Singh Gope, and does not carry names of over 50 sitting MLAs.
Besides, 10 ministers, including Shivpal, sacked by the chief minister over the past few months have got tickets. These former ministers were in open defiance of Akhilesh and it paid off.
On his part, Akhilesh had said he would take up the choice of candidates with the party chief.
“The list does not include names of certain candidates who are sure to win. I will take it up with the SP chief and tell him that some of them have done really good work and they should be given tickets,” he had said last night.
In a late night tit-for-tat action, the Chief Minister struck back sacking two Shivpal loyalists — Surabhi Shukla, vice-chairperson of UP Awas Vikas Parishad and her husband Sandeep Shukla from the post of advisor of Rajkiya Nirman Nigam. Sandeep has been fielded from Sultanpur Sadar seat.
The father-son due are also at odds over the issue of pre-poll alliance, with Mulayam ruling out any pact for a gathbandhan or maha-gathbandhan and even refused to project a chief ministerial candidate.
(With inputs from the PTI)