Amidst the ongoing turmoil in the Samajwadi Party (SP), Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday hit out at party veteran and Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh (without naming him), saying “outsiders” would not be allowed to interfere in the party’s functioning.
Akhilesh also announced the launch of Samajwadi Vikas Yatra – a formal kick-off of his 2017 UP election campaign – on October 3. The move is an obvious attempt to give the impression that the young CM is not bogged down by the unseemly intra-party tussle. The yatra would also establish him as the undisputed leader and face of the party’s election venture.
“This is not a family issue. This is a matter related to the government,” he said in response to reporters’ questions about the wrangling within the ruling Yadav clan. “If outsiders continue to interfere, it will be difficult for the party to function,” he said, obviously hinting at Amar Singh.
Amar Singh was quick to dub it as rumours. Calling Akhilesh his son, Amar Singh said in Chennai, “Akhilesh has not taken my name… not even hinted. He just said some outsider. I got Akhilesh married… My relation with Akhilesh is such that if he repeatedly hits me, I will ask him if he is hurt.”
However, acting as a tough administrator, Akhilesh made it clear that his decisions would not be reversed. Clearly, he is in no mood to compromise any more on his image of being the man in command as he heads into a crucial electoral battle.
“I have taken some decisions on my own, though many times I have taken decisions with the assent of ‘Netaji’ (Mulayam),” he said. “The PWD minister (Shivpal Yadav) knows why the chief secretary was removed or the ministers dropped,” he said, adding that the decisions taken would remain.
The developments emerging out from the Chacha-Bhatija feud have given party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav the difficult role to act as an adhesive and keep the flock together before the crucial elections in the state, due in February-March next year.
However, the going looks a little tough this time, as no word emerged after Mulayam Singh’s five-hour long marathon meeting with brother Shivpal Yadav, who after being stripped of key portfolios by nephew Akhilesh, air-dashed to Delhi on Wednesday afternoon.
Shivpal left Mulayam’s residence without speaking to the posse of waiting mediapersons, indicating that the matter is still far from being settled and he, perhaps, is not fully satisfied with the position of state unit president that Mulayam bestowed upon him recently.
Caught in the difficult matrix of family, Mulayam has little choice between son and brother, as he needs both equally to sail the party through the tough elections where both BSP and BJP are eyeing sizeable vote share. In Akhilesh, Mualyam, perhaps, has the only acceptable CM’s face and in brother Shivpal, a strong commander who has a sizeable party cadre under his control and cannot be dispensed with.
The drama is all set to reach its climax on Friday in Lucknow, where the Yadav family expects to meet to put an end to the feud.