ON A day Samajwadi Party state president Shivpal Yadav proposed Mulayam Singh Yadav take the reins of Uttar Pradesh from his son Akhilesh, a number of party MLAs said they would go by whatever Mulayam decides but many of stressed how happy they are with Akhilesh’s leadership.
Mohd Rizwan, Kundarki: “My faith is in Akhilesh and will remain in him. He is a new face with a clean image. Netaji is ageing and the public understand it will not be possible for him to run the state for a long term. Muslims too have faith in Akhilesh’s leadership,” Rizwan said. “If Netaji replaces Akhilesh for the next two months, all MLAs will support him. But if Netaji is projected as the CM face for the next election, the message will be he is doing that for Shivpalji. In that situation, I will stay with Akhilesh.”
Saeed Ahmed, Phoolpur: “Akhilesh is leader of the party’s legislature group and hence he is my leader… Mulayam is SP national president and Shivpal state president; I will follow the directive of the party leadership. The party’s interests are priority.”
Brij Lal Sonkar, Mehnagar: “Along with 90 per cent of the SP’s leaders and workers, I have faith in Akhilesh and am sure he will be the chief minister again after the 2017 polls. He is also Netaji’s son. Netaji is party president
but I am sure that he will never ask Akhilesh to step down and take charge himself.”
Indrajeet Kori, Ghatampur: “The SP is my leader and Mulayam Singh is its top leader. I will follow his directive… I believe Mulayam will never ask Akhilesh to step down to take charge himself.”
Vijma Yadav, Pratappur: “The chief minister has done lots of development work and has fulfilled public expectations. A gentle person like him should be not removed as CM or CM nominee. But in the end I will follow the directive of Netaji.”
Brajesh Katheria, Kishni: “I will follow Mulayam. These are only speculations. Netaji could never remove Akhilesh as CM.”
Indal Kumar, Malihabad: “Akhilesh is the undisputed leader with a clean image who has set a milestone in development. The public is fan of him, youth are his followers. I respect Netaji and his leadership but if there is a division in the party over change of leadership, I will go with Akhileshji.”
Clash outside office
Hours before Monday’s Samajwadi Party meeting in Lucknow, supporters of Akhilesh and Shivpal clashed outside party headquarters. A heavy police force led by Lucknow SSP Manzil Saini, deployed beforehand, used force against them.