24 October, Lucknow
Split within the ruling Samajwadi Party seems to have been averted for the time being but rift between Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and party president Mulayam Singh Yadav has widened further as the meeting called to resolve the dispute added more fuel to the fire with rival groups clashing in the streets.
Open verbal dispute between Akhilesh and Shivpal before Mulayam, clash between their supporters and beating of MLA Ashu Mallick by the supporters of CM was the highlight of today’s political development which suggested that there was no reconciliation between them even after embracing each other before the party president.
However, a last ditch effort is being made by senior leaders at the behest of Mulayam Singh Yadav at the residence of the party president.
All the three leaders openly spoke against each other and even as the contentious issues plaguing the first family of the party remain unresolved.
Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav delivered a stern message to his son and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to fall in line. Mulayam Singh categorically stated his preference for the three persons Shivpal Yadav, Amar Singh and Ansari brothersall disliked by Akhilesh. Mulayam Singh also conveyed to his son that he is the boss of the party and party will run as per his agendathereby conveying that the chief minister will have to work as per his terms and conditions.
Mulayam Singh Yadav made his intentions clear my stating that Amar Singh is his brother and he has saved him from going to jail hence he cannot leave him and Shivpal at any cost.
Mulayam rebuking the chief minister said, “power has gone to your head after becoming chief minister and you are now patronizing the bootleggers and gamblers. Shivpal Yadav is your uncle and embrace him. Shivpal has nursed the party with his blood and sweat and you have to idea of the history of the party and the hardships faced by me and the Shivpal during the days of our struggle.”
SP chief also lashed out at the chief minister for his vehement opposition to the Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh. “You abuse Amar Singh, do you know about the help rendered to me by Amar Singh? Had he not helped me then I would have faced conviction and had to go to jail,”SP chief said adding “the contribution of Shivpal Yadav for the party can never be forgotten, he represent the common people.”
“I can not hear a word against Shivpal and Amar singh and I can never be separated from these two persons.”
Earlier Akhilesh too announced that he was not forming a new party and was ready to step down if his father, Mulayam, wants. But Shivpal disclosed that Akhilesh has told him that he was forming a new party and will contest the elections in alliance with some other parties.
The meeting called by Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav to broker peace in this high profile family drama, however, ended in a spat between son and father with Akhilesh charging Mulayam with openly siding with leaders like Amar Singh and Gayatri Prajapati.
“It was a complete chaos. As soon as the meeting ended Shivpal Singh Yadav took charge of one mike and Akhilesh got control of another throwing charges at each other. Mulayam was sitting in between as a mute spectator. It is unfortunate what happened today,” a senior legislator told this reporter.
“Yes, this can be said that Mulayam has failed to bring truce. It is unfortunate but true,” he said.The meeting of legislators, MPs and senior party leaders was reduced to an arena to show strength by Shivpal Singh Yadav and Akhilesh. Supporters of both these leaders shouted slogans against each other.
But supporters of Akhilesh outnumbered Shivpal Singh’s supporters and at one time they booed state party president. Later state president Shivpal Singh Yadav expelled 10 more supporters of Akhilesh, who created nuisance at the meeting.
On the other hand expelled party leader Ram Gopal Yadav has attacked Shivpal and said that the entire party is with Akhilesh.”There is no question of forming a new party. People who have nothing will form new party, Akhilesh has all support,” he told reporters in New Delhi.
Clashes were reported between two groups since morning and police had to intervene several times to avert any untoward incident in and outside the SP office. Mulayam was too harsh on Akhilesh during his over one hour speech and admonished his supporters who were raising slogans saying that these people will not take him anywhere. He even took a jibe at Akhilesh saying: “You have lost cool after getting power. Apni aukat na bhulna,” he said.
He even praised Amar Singh and Gayatri Prajapati and defended alliance with tainted Muhtar Ansari’s party Quami Ekta dal.
Mulayam even asked Akhilesh to take a lesson on Narendra Modi.”Look at PM Modi, he became PM with dedication and struggle. He comes from a poor family, but says he can’t leave his mother,” he said while referring how the CM was trying to revolt against his father.
“I tell Akhilesh things but he focuses on other things and abusing people does not help. Drunkards, goons have been added to the party. You (Akhilesh) get some power and it goes to your head. Shivpal Yadav is leader of the masses and I will never forget the work Shivpal has done for me and Samajwadi Party,” he further said.
Further accusing his son, Mulayam said ,”If you can’t face criticism, you can’t be a leader”.
“I am not a weak person, even to this day. Do not think that the youth is not with me. But some ministers are just busy being sycophants. And people who can’t think big can’t be a minister.Instead of fighting our weaknesses we are fighting amongst ourselves,” he said emotionally.
“Jo bahut ucchal rahein hai agar baat aayi to ek laathi bhi nahin seh paaenge,” he commented on the youths and supporters of Akhilesh while adding that,” We have worked really hard to form this party but I feel really sad because of this rift in our family.”