AT THE end of three meetings to resolve the bitter tussle within his family, Samajwadi Party Mulayam Singh Yadav left it on his son Akhilesh to decide whether or not to re-induct Mulayam’s brother Shivpal as a minister. He also evaded an answer whether or not Akhilesh will be the chief ministerial candidate again, suggesting that question be asked after the party gets a majority.
On a day when Akhilesh’s supporters noisily flexed their muscle outside, Mulayam held his third meeting with Akhilesh and Shivpal at his home following two meetings the previous day. If the party rank and file were expecting Mulayam to restore order with the reinduction of Shivpal and his aides Om Prakash Singh, Narad Rai and Shadab Fatima, Mulayam instead announced a press conference where, rather than throwing any new light on where the crisis is heading, he said, “Everything is fine in the family. The party and family are united.”
Outside the party headquarters, Akhilesh’s supporters blockaded the gates, forcing Mulayam to stay indoors for more than one hour after the press conference. They were annoyed that Mulayam did not announce specifically that Akhilesh would be CM candidate next year. Additional security was arranged and the workers called off the agitation on the intervention of some youth leaders.
There was a demonstration outside Shivpal’s home too, with his supporters demanding he be reinducted in the cabinet with due respect.
At the press conference, Mulayam was asked if Shivpal was being reinducted; he replied that Shivpal has not demanded it. “I have left the decision to the chief minister,” he said. He suggested the question be asked of the CM himself: “Mantri banaye, hataye kyun… mukhya mantri se puchiye.”
He repeated several times, “Parivar ek hai, hamari party ek hai. Pure neta aur karyakarta ek hain (Our family is united and so is the party).”
Asked about the party’s chief ministerial candidate for 2017, Mulayam said, “Bring the majority and then ask questions about the CM.” He added that Akhilesh is chief minister at present and no one has objected to that.
It was a fact, Mulayam added, that it had been his name that the party got a majority in 2012 but he then proposed to seat Akhilesh instead, which the party cleared. “Now it’s up to him to execute his responsibilities,” Mulayam said. Asked if he will take over as chief minister, Mulayam ruled it out” “Why would I be CM when only two months are left of the government’s term?”
Asked about Akhilesh’s remarks about Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh, whom the CM’s camp has blamed for the ongoing crisis, Mulayam said, “Why do you people drag Amar Singh into everything?” Mulayam said there are some “conspirators who lack a mandate but drag Amar Singh into issues”.
To a question about remarks by Ram Gopal after his expulsion, Mulayam said that he gives no importance to Ram Gopal’s words.