The feud in the Samajwadi parivar continued to simmer on Saturday, with the state presidents of four youth front organisations of the party resigning their posts to demand that Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav be given back the post of state party chief. The leaders protested at the party headquarters and later at the CM’s residence, where they were pacified by SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh respectively.
After the protesters from the SP’s front organisations left, however, supporters of Shivpal Yadav gathered outside his house, demanding the release of the letter announcing the return of their leader’s portfolios to him.
Akhilesh met Shivpal at his residence later in the day, and subsequently told reporters that the government and he personally would extend all support to his uncle Shivpal.
Despite a post on the official Twitter handle of the UP chief minister’s office on Friday evening saying “Portfolios will be given back to Mr Shivpal Singh Yadav”, the letter sent to Governor Ram Naik did not mention the key protfolio of Public Works Department which had been with Shivpal since 2012, when the SP came to power. Akhilesh has kept PWD with himself.
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The presidents of the Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha, Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha, Lohia Wahini and Mulayam Singh Yadav Youth Brigade, accompanied by their supporters, raised slogans, “Desh mein, pradesh mein, vishwas hai Akhilesh mein (In the country and in the state, we trust in Akhilesh)”, and “Netaji nyay karo, Akhilesh ko adhyaksh bahal karo (Netaji, do justice to Akhilesh, appoint him state president).”
Akhilesh called them to his residence and appealed to them not to agitate, raise slogans, erect hoardings, or display posters over ongoing issues within the party. He said, “Naujawan jis party ke saath chalta hai, uski sarkar banti hai, naujwan jis disha mein chalega… woh vichaardhara chalegi, naujawan jis disha mein jaega, sarkar usi ki banegi (The party that has the support of the youth will form the government, the thinking of the youth will reflect in the thinking of the party).”
Akhilesh appealed to the youths to not resign from their posts and to keep working for the organisation in view of the upcoming elections.
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“Bahut saare dal ke log hain jo saazish kar rahe hain, shadyantra bhi kar rahein hain… kam se kam naujawan un baaton ko samjhega… party ke sangathan ke saath, party ki vichardharan ke saath aur karyakartaon ke saath jud kar ek bar phir samajwadi sarkar banaega (Several parties are trying to hatch conspiracies, but the youth understands, the youth will align with the Samajwadi Party and bring back our government),” he said.
After the CM’s addresss, Mulayam called all the workers to the party office where he too addessed them in a closed-door meeting.
Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha state president Digvijay Singh later said that party had not accepted the resignations of the front organisation leaders.
The CM told reporters later that he had congratulated the new state president personally, and asked other youth workers too to wish him. Without taking any name, Akhilesh said, “Netaji ne jise pradesh adhyaksh banaya hai, unhe main khud badhaai dekar aaya hoon.”
He said that the new state president would have to bear all responsibilities of the party organisation up to the booth level to win the assembly elections.
Asked about the intervention of “outsiders” in the party and government, Akhilesh said he believed “Politics is not a game, it is a serious business.” Using a football analogy, he said never scores a self-goal.