New Delhi: The tug-of-war within the first family of the Samajwadi Party escalated on Wednesday with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav announcing the launch of his ‘Vikas Yatra’ on November 3, two days before his father and party patriarch Mulayam was to kick off the party’s “official” campaign at the SP’s 25th anniversary function.
This also means that the CM would not be available at the silver jubilee function of the party to be held in Lucknow on November 5.
According to Akhilesh’s letter dated October 19th written on CM’s letter pad, the ‘Samajwadi Vikas Rath & Yatra’ was originally slated for October 3, which had to be postponed for “various reasons”. “In between, all other political parties have started off their campaigns,” the letter says, adding that hence the Yatra will start on November 3.
The letter is written on the official letter head of the Chief Minister, implying that the announcement is an information for Mulayam and not a request for permission.
It is marked to both his uncles Ram Gopal Yadav and Shivpal Yadav. The former is a supporter while the latter has been at loggerheads with the CM. The move seems to be a clear message to both power centres within the Samajwadi Party.
The last paragraph of the letter says party workers in districts will be informed of the CM’s arrival from time to time, a move which will help Akhilesh test his popularity among the party cadre.
SP has been at war with itself for over a month with Akhilesh managing the government and his uncle Shivpal getting hold of the party. Patriarch Mulayam has sent confusing signals to both while his cousin and party secretary Ram Gopal Yadav has stood with Akhilesh.