The Samajwadi Party’s (SP) cadres are “worried” because “the SP was born out of struggle”, said party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, adding that he’s working tirelessly to ensure the party doesn’t split.
In an emotional appeal to party workers, Mulayam said he had sacrificed a lot to build the party and Shiv Pal, who is being opposed by Akhilesh faction, was there through thick and thin.
He alleges that Ram Gopal Yadav wanted to form a new party – ‘Akhil Bhartiya Samajwadi Party – with motorcycle as the symbol.
The former UP chief minister said he had declared Akhilesh Yadav as the party’s CM candidate. “Then what’s the need of a new party?,” he asked.
The SP patriarch threw his weight behind brother Shivpal Yadav, who is at loggerheads with the Chief Minister.
“I know who met the president of another party thrice. He wants to save his son and daughter-in-law. He should have approached me. I would have saved them. I asked them [rival camp] not to dispute. I want unity in the party. I am neither making new party nor changing our symbol,” he said.
Apparently referring to Mr. Akhilesh’s claim for the party president’s post, Mr. Mulayam said, “I have given whatever I had. What is left with me? I only have you [workers] all. I founded the SP during Emergency days when Akhilesh was two years old,” Mr. Mulayam said, flanked by Mr. Shivpal.
The fight within the Samajwadi Party has refused to subside with the current stalemate between Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam over the post of the party president failing to reach a conclusion on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission fixed January 13 as the date of hearing both the Samajwadi Party factions, led by Mulayam and by Akhilesh, to settle the dispute over control of the party and its election symbol, ‘cycle’. Notices have been sent to both factions for the January 13 hearing.
The commission wants to settle the matter before January 17 when the process of nomination begins for the first phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh, which will be held on February 11.