Mulayam fails to pacify warring brother and son

Aparna Parekh
File photo of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav

File photo of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav

Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh failed to allay the growing tension between the two rival camps in his party. The warring uncle and nephew Shivpal Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav were asked to hug each other at the crucial party meet in Lucknow, to make up for their differences. But the meet ended abruptly with a shouting match between the father and son who refused to see each other’s point of view.

Earlier in the day, as the meet of Samajwadi Party Ministers, MPs and legislators began at the party headquarters, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav offered to step down.
An emotional Akhilesh, the son of party supremo Mulayam Singh ruled out forming any new party and offered to step down if that is what his father desired.

“Let ‘netaji’ (Mulayam) install a chief minister who he feels is honest,” Akhilesh said and choked while adding, “Why should I form a new party?”

He also called his father his “guru”.

In his address, Akhilesh also said that he had worked hard for the party and stated that there were many people who were trying to create divisions within his family, which he has now learnt to oppose.

Interestingly, Shivpal too addressed the meet right after his nephew Akhilesh. He accused the UP CM of threatening to float a new party.

The crisis in the Samajwadi Party deepened on Sunday when the divide between camps of the father and son widened. Akhilesh sacked four cabinet ministers including his uncle Shivpal Yadav who is said to be very close to Mulayam. In a tit for tat move, Mulayam sacked his brother and senior party leader Ramgopal Yadav, who is a supporter of Akhilesh.

Lucknow: Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav waves to his party workers as he come out after meeting at his residence in Lucknow on Sunday. PTI Photo

Lucknow: Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav waves to his party workers as he come out after meeting at his residence in Lucknow on Sunday. PTI Photo

As the family feud played on, theories of Samajwadi Party splitting into two with the father siding with Shivpal, and the son going separate way had begun to float.

Finally it was Mulayam who addressed the meet. He spoke about how hurt he was at the present crisis. But in a clear statement directed at his son, he said that both Amar Singh and Shivpal Yadav’s contribution to the party cannot be forgotten.

“I can’t tolerate anything against Amar and Shivpal…Amar saved me from going to jail….mere donning of red cap does not make one Samajwadi,” said Mulayam in a clear warning to his son.

Tension between the warring factions was sensed much before the meeting began as supporters of Akhilesh and Shivpal Yadav clashed ahead of the meet.

Amar Singh’s re-entry into party few months ago has made things worse for the young Chief Minister. Over the months, Akhilesh has targeted Singh and has called him the main reason behind fueling the family feud.

(With inputs from PTI)