Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and his younger brother Shivpal Yadav on Saturday skipped the party's national executive meeting in Lucknow, less than a year after they were removed from the post in Agra.
Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and his younger brother Shivpal Yadav on Saturday skipped the party’s national executive meeting in Lucknow, less than a year after they were removed from the post in Agra. The meeting was presided over by Mulayam’s son and party’s national president Akhilesh Yadav at party’s head office in Lucknow. This was the second national executive meeting that Mulayam and Shivpal skipped. Earlier, the two leaders had abstained from the convention that was held in Agra in October where Akhilesh was formally elected as the national president of the party.
At Saturday’s meeting, Akhilesh, who took command of the party from just ahead of the assembly elections last year, was authorised by the leaders to take a call on prospective alliances for the next year’s general elections.
Mulayam and Shivpal’s absence at the SP’s national convention for the second time has rekindled speculation of rifts within the Yadav family. Party insiders, The Indian Express reports, feel that the party patriarch was trying to avoid sharing stage with his son Akhilesh – who had forcefully evicted his father from the national president’s post.
Leaders, however, claimed that since Mulayam was not a member of the SP’s powerful 55 members national executive committee – the highest decision making body of the party, therefore, he skipped the meeting. But a senior leader said that Mulayam is the founding member of the party and hence, he can attend any meeting including those that are convened to take important decisions.
At Saturday’s meeting, party spokesperson Rajendra Chowdhary said that Mulayam Singh Yadav and his younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav “did not turn up”, hinting that the leaders were expecting the two will attend the convention. He said that the meeting was convened to decide pre-poll alliances with other parties ahead of the general elections. A leader said that the members authorised Akhilesh to take forward the talks of alliance with other political parties and he will have the final word on seat-sharing with the partners. He also said that Akhilesh sought written opinion from senior leaders on the matter.
The meeting of the Samajwadi Party’s national executive committee comes in the backdrop of opposition parties flexing their muscle to form an alliance of ‘like-minded’ parties to be pitted against the BJP when the country goes to polls next year.