- This comes after Akhilesh Yadav was elected SP's legislative party leader
- Akhilesh Yadav wrestled control of SP from father Mulayam before UP polls
- The SP won only 47 of the total 403 seats in Uttar Pradesh election
At that meeting, MLA and senior Samajwadi Party leader Lalai Singh proposed that the party's lawmakers from both houses must only attend meetings called by Akhilesh Yadav as the Legislature Party chief. No mention was made of today's meeting called by Mulayam Singh Yadav, who was the party's chief till January, when son Akhilesh staged a coup and wrested control of the party from his father and his younger brother Shivpal Yadav. But the message was clear.
Shivpal Yadav, who contested the UP assembly elections and won from the Jaswantnagar constituency, skipped the meeting called to elect Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday. Senior leader and former minister Azam Khan, who has made multiple efforts to broker peace between father and son, was also absent. Sources said that while Shivpal Yadav was not invited, Azam Khan is upset at not being picked to be Leader of Opposition in the state assembly.
Akhilesh Yadav, who was Chief Minister till his party's rout in the UP elections earlier this month, is a member of the state's legislative council and in that capacity can head the party in both houses and so be leader of opposition. The BJP, in a landslide victory, has won 325 of the 403 seats in the UP assembly along with its allies. The Samajwadi Party is a poor number 2 with 47.
Many in the Samajwadi Party say that the bitter feud that saw Mulayam Singh Yadav being sidelined by his son just before the election led to the party's poor performance. They also fear a further spiral down in the party's fortunes if the feud continues.
When he grabbed control of the party, Akhilesh Yadav had said that he continued to have the deepest regard for Mulayam Singh and would return the post of party chief to his father after the elections. Two weeks after election results were announced there is no word on that exchange.
Within the party, even those considered close to Mulayam Singh avoid speaking about his possible comeback as party chief. "I do not concern myself with these things. I do only what I am meant to. These things are not for me to comment on," said Balwant Singh, a former minister.
Party legislator Bukkal Nawab, one of those invited by Mulayam Singh for dinner today, said, "That was not an official meeting, it was just communicated informally, but the plan did not materialise."