'Blessed' By Uncle Shivpal, Akhilesh Yadav To Stay Samajwadi Party Boss: 10 Facts

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'Blessed' By Uncle Shivpal, Akhilesh Yadav To Stay Samajwadi Party Boss: 10 Facts

At Samajwadi Party's Agra meeting today, Akhilesh Yadav will get a five-year term in the party's top post

AGRA:  Ten months after Akhilesh Yadav wrested control of the Samajwadi Party from his father Mulayam Singh Yadav in a bitter tussle for power, the 44-year-old former chief minister is set to be re-appointed as the party chief for the next five years at the national convention in Agra today. Ahead of the crucial meeting that will cement his hold over the party and mount a fresh offensive at the BJP, Akhilesh Yadav said Shivpal, his estranged uncle, too had phoned in his "blessings". Akhilesh Yadav had reached out to his father with an invite to the meeting last week after Mulayam Singh Yadav declared that his son had his blessings though he didn't approve his decisions.
Here are the top 10 points on this meeting:
  1. "He (Shivpal) gave me blessings and congratulated me also," Akhilesh Yadav told reporters about a rare phone call from Shivpal Yadav, a signal that the decks were clear for his re-appointment as the party chief.
  2. The two-day meeting is also going to place Akhilesh Yadav firmly in the saddle for the 2019 Lok Sabha and 2022 UP assembly elections by amending the party constitution to give him five years, not three, in the leadership role.
  3. There is still no firm word if Mulayam Singh Yadav will make an appearance at the convention but this appears to be unlikely. Mulayam Singh and brother Shivpal had skipped a party meet last month.  "I have personally invited him (Mulayam Singh) and seek his blessings again," was all that Akhilesh Yadav would say.
  4. This is the second convention that Akhilesh Yadav has convened; the first was on 1 January when he staged a coup, replacing his father as president and consigned him to a mentorship role.
  5. Mulayam Singh Yadav had initially called the January convention illegal. The sparring had pushed the party dangerously close to a split and had reached the Election Commission too. But the father later backed down to let Akhilesh lead the party into the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
  6. Mulayam Singh Yadav, who founded the party 25 years ago, has periodically slighted his son for betraying his trust but hasn't pulled the rug from under his son's feet.
  7. The SP patriarch was widely believed to be on the verge of launching a new party last month but instead, announced his "blessings" for his son though he made it a point to stress that "I do not agree with his decisions". He also slipped in a taunt for his son who tweeted, Netaji zindabad, Samajwadi Party zindabad!"
  8. One of the points of disagreement between the father and son is the alliance with the Congress that Akhilesh had scripted along with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi. Akhilesh Yadav stressed there was not going to be any change on this point. "Our friendship will remain," he said.
  9. At the convention, the SP president is also expected to renew its attacks on the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh led by Yogi Adityanath government and PM Narendra Modi at the centre.
  10. Akhilesh Yadav set the tone on Wednesday, blaming PM Narendra Modi for the "ill-effects" of demonetisation that he had thrust upon the country and the "adverse impact" of Goods and Services Tax on small businesses. "Voices of dissent are emanating even from within the BJP on the issue," he said, a reference to veteran BJP leader Yashwant Sinha's critique of the economy.

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