- Samajwadi Party has nosedived from over 200 seats in UP to less than 50
- Ram Gopal Yadav has alleged that "internal sabotage" led to party's loss
- Party held first meeting after Saturday's rout on Thursday
The Samajwadi Party has nosedived from over 200 seats in UP to less than 50. The BJP has swept the state winning 312 seats - 325 along with allies.
"Ram Gopal Yadav, who is the leader of Samajwadi Party in Rajya Sabha, said every candidate and district party presidents would be asked to figure out who had damaged the party's prospects in their respective constituencies. "Some people damaged our prospects because of which our candidates lost in many seats ," Mr Yadav told NDTV.
He named no one, but the comments are seen to refer to Shivpal Yadav, party chief Akhilesh Yadav's estranged uncle, and his supporters. Ahead of the elections, Akhilesh and Shivpal were engaged in a bitter struggle for control of the party.
Akhilesh Yadav, seeking a second term as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, had staged a coup to wrest control of the party from his father Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav, who his father consistently supported.
The party split down the middle with Akhilesh backed and encouraged by his father's cousin Ram Gopal Yadav. He took the family feud to the Election Commission, which recognised Akhilesh Yadav as the chief of the Samajwadi Party and gave him use of the party's symbol.
Mulayam Singh, who had addressed hundreds of rallies in the last election, campaigned only for his brother Shivpal Yadav and Aparna Yadav, wife of his younger son Prateek. He was also upset that Akhilesh Yadav ignored his advice and fought the election in partnership with the Congress, which is seen to have dragged down the Samajwadi Party.
On Thursday, at their first meeting after Saturday's rout, the party's 47 newly-elected legislators gathered in an auditorium at the Samajwadi Party's Lucknow office. For the first time in 104 days Akhilesh Yadav and uncle Shivpal Yadav were in the same room.
While Shivpal Yadav, one of the 47 SP candidates who won, sat quietly, Akhilesh Yadav tweeted photos from the meeting that did not feature his uncle.