Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav was seen with his father Mulayam Singh Yadav and uncle Shivpal Yadav in Saifai here on the occasion of Diwali. While there has been friction between the members of the SP’s dominant clan in recent past, party veteran Mulayam Singh Yadav claimed today that there was “no discord”. “My entire family is united and there is no discord. This is the reason that we have come to the village (Saifai) to celebrate Diwali,” Mulayam Singh Yadav said. Saifai — the native place of the clan — witnessed Akhilesh Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Shivpal Yadav, MPs Dharmendra Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav interacting with each other for nearly two hours.
SP’s principal general secretary Ramgopal Yadav, who had met Mulayam Singh Yadav yesterday, however, did not participate in today’s meeting. After the nearly two-hour-long meeting, all the clan members came out and sat in the lawn. Akhilesh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav were part of the group even though they were not seen sitting next to each other, as there was a gap of a few chairs between them. Shivpal Yadav said, “Our entire family is one,” as he moved ahead. On October 5, Akhilesh Yadav was unanimously re-elected as the Samajwadi Party’s national president for a five-year term, consolidating his grip over the party even as Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav appeared sidelined.
His re-election was announced by senior SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav at the SP national convention in Agra. The party’s constitution was amended to extend the tenure of the party chief to five years from the earlier three.
Both Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav skipped the event just as they had stayed away from the state executive meeting of the party in Lucknow on September 23. Akhilesh Yadav had personally invited his father for the national convention. In his address the former UP chief minister had said, “I requested ‘netaji’ (Mulayam) to attend the convention. Everyone would have liked it (his presence).”
“I talked to him…before coming to the convention. I told him that it is a big convention and amendments in the party constitution will also be passed and without your blessings the party cannot progress,” he had said. Akhilesh Yadav had claimed that Mulayam Singh Yadav, “has given blessings to all of us” over phone and wished that the party is strengthened in UP and throughout the country. The SP has witnessed a bitter feud between Akhilesh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav and this infighting adversely affected the party during the UP Assembly polls in which it performed poorly earlier this year.