Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Friday said the party’s chief ministerial candidate will be decided by elected party legislators after the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
“The chief ministerial candidate will be decided by the elected party legislators and parliamentary board. This is our job. This is not your [media] work,” he told reporters here when asked whether his son, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was still the chief ministerial candidate for the coming elections.
The remarks come as another setback to Mr. Akhilesh Yadav, who was recently removed from party’s State president post owing to an apparent feud in their family.
Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav, however, parried questions regarding Mr. Akhilesh Yadav making the Janeshwar Mishra Trust office a “war room” ahead of the State polls and his departure before the SP chief’s arrival during the Ram Manohar Lohia death anniversary programme.
“There is no dispute in the family. Shivpal had met him [Akhilesh] this morning. In the last elections, votes were sought in my name but I made him [Akhilesh] the CM,” he said.
“Kise kahan baithana hai, hum khud tai karenge [I will decide where to place whom],” he said.
The family feud in the party came to the fore after the merger of Quami Ekta Dal was cancelled at the behest of Mr. Akhilesh Yadav.
Mr. Akhilesh Yadav’s supporters, including some MLCs and presidents of party frontal organisations, led protests against his removal but had to backtrack after Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav’s intervention. The supporters were later expelled by the newly-appointed State party chief and Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav’s brother, Mr. Shivpal Singh Yadav, from the party.
Asked about his stand on the UCC and triple talaq, Mulayam said the issues were very old and there should be no controversy on such matters. “Every community is entitled to follow its own religious scriptures. There should be no debate on the issue,” he said, recollecting an instance where socialist ideologue Ram Manohar Lohia had aired similar views at a function in Pune.