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Mulayam Snubs Akhilesh, Says MLAs Will Decide Next UP CM

Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Friday said the next chief minister of Uttar Pradesh will be decided by party MLAs after the state elections, in what is seen as a snub to his son and UP CM Akhilesh Yadav.

Sumit Pande, Pranshu Mishra

Updated:October 14, 2016, 3:50 PM IST
Mulayam Snubs Akhilesh, Says MLAs Will Decide Next UP CM
Mulayam Singh addressing a press conference in Lucknow on Oct 14, 2016

Lucknow: In what is being seen as an indication of the growing rift within, Samajwadi Party (SP) President Mulayam Singh Yadav has said that the newly elected party legislatures will elect the next chief minister if SP is voted to power next year.

In another rebuff to his son and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Mulayam Singh has nominated Gayatri Prajapati as the convenor for the upcoming grand foundation day celebrations to launch party’s election campaign.

The internecine war within SP’s first family was triggered last month when Akhilesh Yadav sacked Prajapati, a close aide of Mulayam Singh, from the state council of ministers and stripped uncle Shivpal of key ministerial portfolios. The decisions was however rescinded later but the fragile truce called thereafter has been short-lived with both sides continuing to snipe at each other intermittently.

“The party legislatures will take a call on the issue after the elections. I’m there and the parliamentary board is there," said Mulayam to a pointed question whether Akhilesh will be the CM face of the party post the elections.

SP president however tried to downplay the deep divisions within, saying there has never been any “difference of opinion in the three generations of the family”.

Friday’s press conference was the first by the SP chief in the last one month, and came just hours after media reports of Chief Minister making his intent clear on embarking on the elections campaign if matter were kept pending any longer.

Akhilesh’s development yatra which was to start in the first week of October was postponed earlier this month and would have taken him across the state as the face of party’s campaign seeking re-election after SP’s first full term in office.

Instead Mulayam’s move to launch the party campaign in the first week of November in a grand function to mark the 25th foundation day of the party also betrays uneasy calm which could lead to further widening of rift between the two factions - one led by his son Akhilesh and the other by brother Shivpal.

Mulayam’s Singh has exhorted party cadres to actively work towards making the conclave a grand success. The function is being seen as a show of strength by Shivpal supporters to galvanize the party and workers in case differences persists leading up counter moves by the Akhilesh camp.

Key Akhilesh aides in-charge of youth wings and frontal organisations have already been purged by uncle Shivpal, who has since been elevated as the state president of the party.

The two sides have only hardened their position in the last one month with the chief minister making public his opposition to party giving tickets to people with criminal background.

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| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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