New Delhi, January 9
Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday said Akhilesh Yadav will be next the Chief Minister after the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections and claimed that the party is united. With Mulayam extending an olive branch to his “estranged” son, the move is being seen as an attempt to end SP feud.
Earlier, Mulayam insisted he had no differences with his son and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav but admitted to fissures within the party.
The public admission came even as the Election Commission said it will shortly take a call on the claims on the party’s election symbol ‘cycle’ by both factions — of Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh Yadav.
For a second time in a week, Mulayam Singh met Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi to assert his claim over ‘cycle’ and then blamed cousin and Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Yadav for the feud within the party.
“There are some who have influenced my son (Akhilesh). I had a talk with him last night and also in the morning over the issue. There is no dispute between my son and me.
“There are some differences within the party, not much. Only one person is responsible for this. That will be resolved soon when I reach Lucknow,” the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said.
Mulayam Singh, who has expelled Ram Gopal Yadav from the party, wrote to Vice-President and Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari apprising him about the action.
Ansari’s office confirmed it had received the letter. “It will be duly examined.” While Mulayam Singh remained tight-lipped about his talks with Zaidi, informed sources said he insisted that the January 1 convention in which Akhilesh Yadav ousted him as the president was “illegal”.
Accompanied by loyalist Amar Singh and brother Shivpal Yadav, Mulayam Singh spent nearly 40 minutes with Zaidi.
The Akhilesh faction too called on the poll panel and urged it to expedite its decision on the party symbol.
“We (urged) them to take a decision on the symbol as soon as possible because nominations (for assembly polls) will start soon (January 17),” Ram Gopal Yadav later said.
He refused a comment on Mulayam Singh’s remarks.
Amid the tug of war over ‘cycle’, the EC will soon take a call “in a day or two”, a source told IANS.
Earlier, Devendra Upadhyay, a lawyer representing Akhilesh Yadav, said Mulayam Singh had yet again refused to accept a copy of the reply filed by Ram Gopal vis-a-vis the election symbol.
“The Election Commission had directed that before filing the reply with them we should provide a copy to Mulayam Singh. I tried to give him a copy but he refused,” Upadhyay told the media.