Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father and Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav are giving themselves a second chance to keep Samajwadi Party from splitting into two ahead of the election in the state. In a meeting today, that extended for about two hours, it was revealed that the only way he would considering retreating from his position would be if he was given freedom in ticket distribution. Significantly, Akhilesh met Mulayam in presence of rival for power Shivpal – the meet happened at Mulayam’s home. The presence of Mulayam’s brother in the meet indicates that the SP supremo is unwilling to abandon one of his staunchest lieutenants over the decades to side with his son.
Mulayam Singh, who was removed from his position as party president and was anointed ‘Margdarshak’ was also given the option of giving Shivpal a national role in party affairs and allow Akhilesh to get more breathing space in Lucknow to manage party affairs.
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Akhilesh on Tuesday arrived at Mulayam Singh Yadav’s residence in Lucknow after the latter returned from New Delhi where he had knocked at the doors of the Election Commission to lay claim to use of party symbol – the cycle. Both Mulayam and Akhilesh factions of SP have staked claim over the party and its cycle symbol before Election Commission. After the meeting, a senior party leader close to Akhilesh told, “its too late. There is no scope for any settlement. EC will decide who will have SPs cycle.”
Earlier in the day, at the Lucknow airport when asked about the forthcoming Akhilesh-Mulayam meeting, Shivpal said, “I don’t have any information about the meeting. If netaji (Mulayam) calls me I will go.”