To bridge divide in Samajwadi party’s first family, 5 party veterans wade in

Hold meetings with SP chief, Akhilesh; will again meet Mulayam today.

Written by Lalmani Verma | Lucknow | Published:October 23, 2016 4:00 am
akhilesh, akhilesh yadav, mulayam, mulayam singh yadav, samajwadi party, Udaiveer Singh, samajwadi party politics, uttar pradesh, uttar pradesh news, uttar pradesh politics, india news Rajya Sabha member Beni Prasad Verma comes out after meeting SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav at his residence, in Lucknow on Saturday. (Express Photo by Vishal Srivastav)

With no signs of an end to the tense stand-off between Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle and state party chief Shivpal Yadav, five party veterans Saturday met Mulayam Singh Yadav seeking to bridge the chasm that has developed in the ruling Yadav family.

The senior leaders, including Rajya Sabha members Beni Prasad Verma, Kiranmoy Nanda, Naresh Agrawal and Reoti Raman Singh and UP Assembly speaker Mata Prasad Pandey, later also met Akhilesh at his residence.

Contacted, Agrawal said that during the two meetings, they made an attempt to reduce the “distance between the key leaders of the party” to ensure that the “parivar remains united”, “organisation gets strengthened” and the “party contests the 2017 Assembly polls unitedly”.

Nanda refused to divulge the details but said, “The crisis will not last any longer.”

PTI quoted Beni Prasad Verma, who returned to the party fold from Congress recently, as saying that Mulayam is deeply pained. “I would request Akhilesh to get things sorted out. It is time to close ranks (with Assembly polls just months away)… there is little time,” he said.

It is the first time when senior leaders of the party have intervened to resolve the ongoing turmoil. They reached Mulayam’s residence in the morning. Shivpal too was present there but left the meeting midway to attend the state executive meeting at party state headquarters. He, however, again joined the party leaders later at Mulayam’s residence.

Sources in the party said that in the three-hour-long meeting, Mulayam told the senior leaders that he was aware that party was suffering because of the current situation. Sources also said that Mulayam also alleged that a senior party leader had recently approached the Election Commission regarding formation of a new party with a vertical division in the organisation.

Later in the evening, these leaders visited CM residence where they stayed with Akhilesh for nearly one hour. While the meeting was going on, a group of party youth workers kept raising slogans of “Akhilesh Yadav zindabad” outside.

The senior leaders are likely to meet Mulayam on Sunday again to share details of the meeting held with CM. Akhilesh has called a meeting of party MLAs and MLCs at his residence on Sunday where he is expected to discuss over preparations of Samajwadi Vikas Rath Yatra beginning from November 5.

Mulayam and Shivpal have also called a meeting of all the party MPs, MLAs and MLCs on Monday regarding party’s silver jubilee celebrations.