Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday shared the stage with erstwhile Quami Ekta Dal’s Afzal Ansari and his MLA brother Sibghatullah for the first time after the QED merged with the SP. In an apparent message to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Mulayam said that he didn’t “care about those opposing the move”.
The SP chief was in Ghazipur to launch the party’s campaign for forthcoming Assembly elections with a rally. Akhilesh, who had opposed the merger of QED with SP, was not present. The rally was addressed by Afzal and Sibghatullah, who are brothers of jailed gangster-turned-MLA Mukhtar Ansari.
Praising state SP president Shivpal Yadav, who was instrumental in QED-SP merger, Mulayam said the party would become stronger after the arrival of Afzal and Sibghatullah.
“Shivpal worked openly for their joining. Some people opposed, but I did not care about it. The party will win with strong majority after the arrival of both brothers,” said Mulayam.
Apparently referring to ministers expelled by Akhilesh from his Cabinet, most of whom were main organisers of the rally, Mulayam said he had asked for revocation of their expulsion, but it was not done. “I asked to revoke the expulsion. I said it would send a good message. I will be able to speak better, but it was not done,” he said.
He conceded that the SP was facing challenges. Mulayam added that the rally was an answer to “those who wanted to weaken the party”. He asked SP’s young workers to work for the party and “not shout slogans in favour of one leader or the other”.
“Don’t think about who you support and who you don’t. You should work for the SP and learn the socialist ideology,” he said.
Further commenting about the SP’s problems, he said: “People are not speaking politely. They are saying whatever comes to their mind. Today, everyone will know who is SP’s well-wisher and who is not… I only want unity in the party. And I want that a SP government is formed after the elections.”
About Centre’s demonetisation move, he said: “PM is arrogant. He is doing as he wishes. People don’t like that.”
Speaking at the rally, Afzal said that the minorities were being “threatened” because the BJP government was working on the RSS’s agenda.
“In today’s atmosphere if minorities see any ray of hope, it is only netaji (Mulayam),” he said.