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Shivpal tells Akhilesh Yadav to make Mulayam Singh Samajwadi Party president

LiveMint logoLiveMint 18-04-2017 Meenal Thakur

New Delhi: In an attempt to take back control of the Samajwadi Party (SP), Shivpal Yadav, uncle of the party’s national president Akhilesh Yadav, said the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister should hand the reins back to his father Mulayam Singh Yadav, as promised before the assembly election.

The comment comes as part of the ongoing cornering of Akhilesh Yadav by the Mulayam-led faction of the party, after SP lost the recent Uttar Pradesh elections under the former’s leadership. While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 312 of the 403 seats, Samajwadi Party could only manage to win a mere 47.

Akhilesh, who was elected SP’s national president in place of his father by the party’s national convention on 1 January this year, had said that he would give back control over the party to his father after three months.

“He (Akhilesh Yadav) should unite the family and the party by fulfilling his promise. He should show some morality. He should follow what he said before the election and should make Netaji (Mulayam) the national president of the party,” Shivpal said in Mainpuri on Tuesday. Shivpal’s statement comes two days after Mulayam dismissed Akhilesh’s efforts to form an anti-BJP ‘grand alliance’ to fight the 2019 Lok Sabha election. The party patriarch said that SP was strong enough to fight the election on its own.

To be sure, Mulayam had also spoken against the SP-Congress alliance during the assembly election.

On 5 April, Shivpal, who won from the Jaswantnagar assembly seat in the recent election, met Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. Earlier, on 31 March, Aparna Yadav, the younger daughter-in-law of Mulayam who unsuccessfully contested from the Lucknow Cantonment seat, also met the UP chief minister when he had visited a cow shelter run by her.

Despite the pressure being mounted on Akhilesh to step down as the party’s national president, the former chief minister enjoys support of a majority of party MLAs. Their loyalty can be attributed to the fact that Akhilesh had a major role to play in the ticket distribution process for the state elections.

“There is no denying the fact that all is not well within the family but the MLAs are clear that they have just one leader and he is Akhilesh Yadav. The youth is with him, we are with and we want him to lead us,” said an SP leader from Kanpur who did not want to be identified.

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