Samajwadi Party (SP) founder Mulayam Singh Yadav on Saturday did not turn up for the 8th state convention of the party he formed 25 years back, though party president Akhilesh Yadav said his father’s blessings will always be with him. His absence, along with that of his younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav, from the meet signalled once again that all is still not well within the party and the Yadav clan.
The father-son ties soured late last year, when Akhilesh Yadav-led a coup against his father, uncle Shivpal and Amar Singh, divesting all the three of their posts in the party and taking over as the party’s national president.
Shivpal had on Friday said that he and Netaji (Mulayam) had not received any invitation for the meet.
On Saturday, however, Akhilesh got emotional while referring to his father and in his speech to the workers, he said Netaji had worked hard to take the party to this level.
He added that Mulayam was his father and that his blessings would always be with him and the party in times to come, too. “My father is with me and will always remain as well.”
Mulayam has been relegated to the post of ‘mentor’ in the party since January 1.
Mulayam’s close aide and former minister in the state government Mohd Azam Khan exhorted the cadres to throw their weight behind Akhilesh and asked them to trust the young man.
Khan also reminded the party workers of his long association with the party and said he had worked both with Akhilesh and Mulayam. Another close friend of Mulayam — Rajya Sabha member Reoti Raman Singh — was also present on the stage.