Samajwadi Party’s central parliamentary board met in Lucknow on Sunday but failed to reach a consensus on picking its new party leader in the Rajya Sabha ahead of the forthcoming winter session. Board members later authorised Mulayam to take a decision on the matter.
SP sources confirmed that the meeting was called to decide the party’s new leader in the Rajya Sabha and discuss new programmes launched by the state government in view of the forthcoming Assembly elections. Party chief Mulayam Singh’s cousin, Ram Gopal Yadav, who is the party’s leader in the Rajya Sabha, was likely to be replaced after being expelled from the party last month. He has already been removed from party posts of general secretary and spokesperson.
The sources, however, added that the party could not reach a consensus on selection of a new leader for the Rajya Sabha as a section wanted Ram Gopal to be taken back into the party. SP is third largest party in the Upper House with 19 members.
The meeting, which was held at the SP’s state headquarters, was attended by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and party state president Shivpal Yadav.
When asked about the matter, Shivpal said, “Netaji (Mulayam) will take the decision on this in Delhi.” He said it was also discussed that Mulayam’s public meetings will be held in all divisions and first such programme will be held in Ghazipur.
Rajya Sabha MP and SP’s national vice-president Kiranmoy Nanda said no name was discussed Sunday for being selected as party’s leader in the Upper House. Instead, the party discussed the inconveniences that the general public, farmers and traders were facing due to recent demonetisation of currency.
Nanda said the SP will raise the issue of demonitsation of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes and the inconvenience caused to the people due to the decision.
“Common man is facing the inconvenience in daily life. SP is the party of the common man and hence we will raise the issue in Parliament,” Nanda said.
Shivpal added that the season for sowing of the Rabi crop had started and the farmers were not able to purchase seeds and fertilsers after the PM’s announcement. He said new currency notes had not reached rural banks and district cooperative banks, and demanded that farmers be allowed to use Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes to purchase seeds and fertilisers in the current Rabi season. He said the Centre should have taken opposition parties into confidence before taking the decision of demonetisation.