Amid fight with Akhilesh Yadav over 'cycle', Mulayam Singh addressed Samajwadi Party workers in Lucknow
As he headed to Delhi from Lucknow, Mulayam Singh Yadav today said he did not want his party to split and also vowed to "try and save the cycle" in an emotional speech that had people guessing what the Samajwadi Party patriarch's next move will be. Many gathered at the party's Lucknow office said they still hope it means a truce between Mulayam Singh and his son and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav
just ahead of crucial elections in Uttar Pradesh.
Father and son are engaged in an intense tussle for control of the party that Mulayam Singh launched 25 years ago. A 90-minute meeting yesterday failed to break the deadlock
, despite a climbdown by Mulayam Singh, who has said that Akhilesh will be Chief Minister again if the party wins the UP elections. Akhilesh Yadav has refused to give up the post of party president that he usurped from his father a few days ago till after the UP elections as he fears that will allow his uncle Shivpal Yadav and Amar Singh, both close to his father, to influence crucial decisions.
Shivpal Yadav, who Akhilesh wants removed from the UP election process, was by Mulayam Singh's side when the latter reminded workers today that it was he who struggled through the Emergency years that led to the Samajwadi Party being formed. "Akhilesh was two years old," he said.
"I am standing here today and saying that I don't want the party to split. You know it's not me trying to split the party. Who is that person meeting politicians of other parties?" he said in an attack on his cousin Ram Gopal Yadav who he accuses of misguiding his son.
In Delhi on Friday, the Election Commission will decide whether the faction led by Mulayam Singh will get the Samajwadi Party's cycle symbol for the Uttar Pradesh elections or that led by his son.
Representing Akhilesh Yadav, Ram Gopal Yadav has handed to the poll panel six boxes of documents and signed avowals that he says proves the Chief Minister commands the support of a majority of the Samajwadi Party's leaders, workers and lawmakers and so should be recognised as the true leader of the party and given the cycle symbol.
Elections will be held in UP in multiple phases starting February 11. Votes will be counted on March 11.