A day after the Samajawadi Party meeting at the party headquarters in Lucknow ended in bitter acrimony, party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday told reporters that the family and party remains united. “Hamara parivar ek hai, hamara party ek hai (Our family is united and so is the party),” he said.
At a press conference today in Lucknow, Mulayam, however, refused to commit whether Akhilesh would be returning as chief minister if the party comes back to power. “Let the majority come, then the party will decide,” Mulayam said.
What did become clear is that Akhilesh will have a say in the party’s election strategy for the upcoming state assembly elections. “Yes it’s true that the majority was in my name (in 2012), we made Akhilesh CM. Now it’s up to him to carry out responsibilities,” Mulayam said.
He also refused to be drawn into any controversy as Shivpal had asked him to step in for Akhilesh as SP’s chief ministerial face so as to resolve the dispute within the party. “I will not give even a single controversial answer, no matter how many controversial questions you may ask. Only two months left for polls, why think this now?” he said.
When asked whether Shivpal would be reinstated in the cabinet, Mulayam said “yeh main mukhyamantri pe chodta hun (I leave this to the chief minister)”. Mulayam also refused to comment on Amar Singh, whom he had forgiven for “all his sins” yesterday. “Why bring Amar Singh into everything,” Mulayam said.
The Indian Express first reported that Mulayam had invited brother Shivpal Yadav and son Akhilesh Yadav to his residence on Monday night to broker a peace deal and asked them to work together to ensure that SP emerges victorious in the upcoming assembly elections. Sources said Akhilesh and Shivpal spent 45 minutes together at the CM residence in the evening and left together in a car to meet Mulayam Singh. They were there for more than an hour and the SP chief made them hug each other and promise to work together, sources said.