Samajwadi Party’s attempt to woo the business class by organising ‘Vyapari Panchayat’ has exposed the chinks within the organisation with both its national and state traders’ wings coming at loggerheads with each other.
State president of Samajwadi Vyapar Sabha, Gopal Agrawal, claimed he has not been invited for Vyapaqri Panchayat and thus, has decided to stay away from the function — scheduled to be held in Lucknow on Friday. However, national president of Vyapar Sabha, Hulash Rai Singhal, claimed that Agrawal has been intimated and should attend the panchayat.
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Vyapari Panchayat is being organised by SP to make inroads among the trader community, which is basically considered close to the BJP. The function will be attended by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Shivpal Yadav, Ambika Choudhary, Rajendra Choudhary, Narad Rai and Ram Sakal Gurjar. Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav — who is currently in Delhi — is also likely to attend.
The national traders’ unit is making preparations for the event, which is likely to be attended by nearly 10,000 people. In the hundreds of hoardings put up to publicise the function carry the names of several SP leaders, Agrawal’s name is missing.
“I have no information about the event and have not been contacted. Since it is an official function of the party, we cannot oppose but I will not attend,” Agrawal said. He also denied any move to raise the issue before senior leaders. “Everybody knows what the issue is. Last year, I was invited and attended with 1,000 workers. But this time, I will not be going,” he added.
Singhal, however, claimed that Agrawal was intimated on phone. “Messages were also sent on WhatsApp and through SMS. He should attend the meeting as he is the state president,” Singhal said.
Maintaining that Agrawal’s statements will have no affect on the function, he added: “I am not aware what he is saying. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Shivpal Yadav and several other ministers will attend the function. Mulayam may also come. Traders across the state now understand that only SP can save them…”