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Voices of dissent in Samajwadi Party after defeat in UP polls

LiveMint logoLiveMint 12-03-2017 PTI

Lucknow: With Akhilesh Yadav’s experiments at the hustings backfiring, voices of dissent have started surfacing in the Samajwadi Party (SP) with some leaders demanding that the old order under party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav be restored.

The Samajwadi Party could manage only 47 seats, 177 down from its 2012 tally of 224 seats.

Party leaders, specially the ones who have been close to Mulayam Singh and Shivpal Yadav, want Akhilesh Yadav to hand over the reins of the party to his father.

ALSO READ: UP election results: Akhilesh Yadav resigns, says will continue Congress tie-up

“Akhileshji had asked for control of the party only till elections, citing them as his exam and now that he has failed in it he should hand over the leadership to Netaji,” a senior party leader said on condition of anonymity.

Despite reservations expressed by his father, Akhilesh had gone ahead with a pre-poll alliance with the Congress with an aim of undoing the damage caused to the party’s public image after the long-run family feud.

Akhilesh felt that Congress could help it consolidate the crucial Muslim vote, which accounts for over 18% of the population and check the march of BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

ALSO READ: UP assembly results: Shivpal Yadav is hurtling down on the road to ignominy

It was also Akhilesh who shunned the mafias and criminal elements and played the development card to the hilt, assuming that the electorate specially youth will fall for it. “We had taken care of the party after big reverses in the wake of Ayodhya movement and we can do it once again ... we also promise to take care of Akhilesh’s future”, he said, adding that the party should be allowed to work in the directions and guidance of netaji.

Former SP spokesman and founder member of the party C.P. Rai said those who have won the elections for the party are mostly the ones who had been given tickets by Mulayam Singh and Shivpal Yadav. “Barring the two or three candidates all those who have won are those who had been picked up by Netaji and Shivpalji ... ticket distribution was also an issue of contention ...Shivpal won the seat comfortably even though all out efforts were made to stop his march to the vidhan sabha,” Rai said.

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