Akhilesh Ditched Me, Why are You Surprised He Sacked Shivpal: Mulayam
The rift within the first family of the Samajwadi Party came to the fore again on Saturday when party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav accused his son and former CM Akhilesh Yadav of “ditching him”.
File photo of Mulayam Singh Yadav.
New Delhi: Fissures within the Samajwadi Party are widening fast. A day after UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited a cow shelter run by Prateek Yadav and his wife Aparna, Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav on Saturday publicly spoke of being betrayed by his son Akhilesh Yadav.
Speaking during a public function in his hometown Mainpuri, Mulayam said, “Jo apne pita ka nahi ho saka wo kisi ka kya hoga? [He who betrayed his father can betray anyone].”
Interestingly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had used similar language several times during his campaign speeches in the run up to assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh. Modi had never criticised Mulayam and attacked Akhilesh for forging an alliance with Congress which had “conspired to have his father [Mulayam] killed”.
Speaking to reporters in Mainpuri, Mulayam said he had anointed his son Akhilesh, as the Chief Minister despite opposition from all quarters. “No father while he had still political life in him has sacrificed what I sacrificed for my son. But how did Akhilesh return the favour? In my entire life I have never been humiliated like this,” he said.
He went on to criticise his son, who snatched the reins of his party in a public power struggle just before polls, for throwing out his uncle Shivpal Yadav. “Akhilesh didn’t do justice to his uncle Shivpal. Does anyone remove their uncle from their own party? This is what Akhilesh did. It was not fair,” Mulayam said.
SP leaders are treating Mulayam’s outburst as an anomaly. “It is natural that after such a big loss, party leaders will make contradictory statements. But this is not Samajwadi Party’s point of view. Samajwadi Party’s point of view is that the family will stick together no matter what. And we will try to resolve all the issues,” said SP national spokesperson, Ghanshyam Tiwari.
“You know there is a fight in the family and we both know what the result is going out to be. Akhilesh hasn’t responded to his father’s statements because he doesn’t want to sever relations altogether. But things cannot go on like this,” said an MLC who is a close aide of Akhilesh.
But Mulayam has his own reasons to be upset with his son. Mulayam’s frustrations were voiced by his second wife and Prateek’s mother Sadhna Yadav, just after the elections when she said that she would not keep quiet if Netaji (her husband) continued to be humiliated.
The question of party leadership, which Akhilesh had taken over through his coup in January, arose again after polls which was among SP’s worst performances. The question of who would lead party on the national front and in the newly created legislative assembly rose before the party again. And Akhilesh snatched the reins, again.
On March 28, Akhilesh held a meeting of all SP MLAs and MLCs and announced himself the national president and leader of state legislature, and appointed his loyalist Naresh Uttam as the state president.
Party leader Azam Khan has also been absent from all Akhilesh led meetings since polls.
Mulayam, who had called a separate meeting of his party members, had to cancel the meeting and suffer humiliation of cancelling dinner in honour of the party 47 elected legislators in the UP assembly.
Since then rumours of the increasing proximity between BJP and Mulayam-Shivpal faction have been rife. SP has been rubbishing these rumours till now.
“As far as the question of BJP trying to create a rift in party is concerned, let me make it very clear that Samajwadi Party can take care of its own affairs and will not entertain any outsiders’ interference. No one from the family is joining BJP,” Tiwari said.
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