New Delhi: In his mega conflict with father and party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav's demand number one is the separation from the Samajwadi Party of lawmaker Amar Singh.
- I am like an uncle to Akhilesh whether he accepts me or not: Amar Singh
- I will not abandon Mulayam Singh until my last breath, he said
- Mr Singh returned to the Samajwadi Party after 6 years
That fervent wish is unlikely to be fulfilled, Amar Singh made clear today, declaring, "I will not abandon Mulayam Singh until my last breath. He has said I am a brother to him. I am like an uncle to Akhilesh whether he accepts me or not."
Mulayam Singh's avowal of faith and trust in Amar Singh earlier this week came before hundreds of Samajwadi Party workers in Lucknow at a meeting. To Akhilesh's pleas that there was a conspiracy against him - implying that Amar Singh and his uncle Shivpal Yadav had scripted it - Mulayam Singh had said, "I can't leave Amar Singh or Shivpal Yadav. All of Amar Singh's sins are forgiven."
The frost between father and son seems to continue. In Lucknow today, Mulayam Singh Yadav skipped an annual award function for the first time since he instituted it as chief minister in 22 years ago. Akhilesh Yadav presided.
Amar Singh said he is hurt not by Akhilesh's allegations - "I am used to allegations" - but the words he has used for him. "There is no photo of his wedding where I am not there," he said, but also made it clear where his loyalty's lie. "Before Akhilesh, I am with Mulayam. I am only with Akhilesh because of Mulayam."
Mr Singh, expelled six years ago by the Samajwadi Party on charges of tarnishing its image, has staged a powerful return. He was taken back into the party this year, was nominated to the Rajya Sabha and last month was elevated to the post of national general secretary.
In his new stint in the party, Mr Singh has aligned himself with Shivpal Yadav, who Team Akhilesh accuses of plotting to be chief minister with the help of Amar Singh. Shivpal headed to Delhi today, reportedly to discuss a "Grand Alliance" in UP with other "like-minded" parties to take on the BJP and Mayawati's BSP in the Uttar Pradesh elections early next year.
At an election rally in Yadav home turf Etawah in UP today, BJP chief Amit Shah smirked at the family drama in ruling party, accusing it of neglecting the governance.