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Akhilesh Is CM's Face For Samajwadi Party, Says Mulayam Aide

Amid internal political sparring, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav's loyalist Kiranmoy Nanda on Monday declared that Akhilesh is and will be the CM face of SP in Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections scheduled for 2017.

Sumit Pande, Pranshu Mishra

Updated:October 17, 2016, 5:41 PM IST

New Delhi: In what is being seen as an attempt to end political bickering in Samajwadi Party, party general secretary and close Mulayam Singh aide Kironmoy Nanda on Monday said that Akhilesh Yadav will be the CM face of SP in Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections scheduled for 2017.

The clarification from the senior party leader came just a few days after party patriarch in a press conference refused to endorse son Akhilesh as the natural leader if the party is re-elected to power next year.

Mulayam Singh had last week in a press conference in Lucknow said that newly elected MLAs will decide the leader of the legislature party post the elections.

Nanda's statement comes a day after senior party leader Ramgopal Yadav's letter warned Mulayam that if Samajwadi Party collected fewer than 100 of Uttar Pradesh's 403 seats, he "alone would be responsible".

Mulayam Singh since then has held a series of parleys within the family to diffuse the crisis. As a first step towards that end, Samajwadi Party's state chief Shivpal Yadav had also on Sunday said he would pitch his nephew, Akhilesh Yadav's name, for the chief minister's post if the party wins the 2017 Assembly elections.

The party has been plunged into an intercenine war for the last one month. The crisis was triggered by Akhilesh Yadav sacking some ministers considered close to Mulayam Singh. He followed it up by stripping uncle Shivpal of key ministerial portfolio.

The matter was temporarily resolved when Akhilesh rescinded on some of the decisions. The tenuous truce called since has been been broken by warring factions on many occasions with both groups intermittently sniping at each other.

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| Edited by: Gurleen Nagpal
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