Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday announced that there is no rift in the Yadav family after seemingly brokering an uneasy truce between rival factions of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and SP state chief and Mulayam’s younger brother Shivpal Yadav. The former chief minister has tried to keep his party from imploding for the second time in around two weeks just ahead of the crucial Uttar Pradesh election. Mulayam has put the onus now on Akhilesh to respond. The question, however, still stands, how long will this truce last with bitterness at an all time high between uncle and nephew who have overpowered each other on their turf–Shivpal in the party and Akhilesh in the government.
Akhilesh was not present at the press meeting which raises questions about the CM’s willingness to accept the terms of the compromise. Akhilesh now finds himself on testing grounds and has to walk the tightrope. All eyes are on the young Yadav’s next move whose position in the party and government is at stake now and for the upcoming elections as well.
Mulayam said the party and the Yadav family was one and that here were some people who were trying to break them. He also shielded Amar Singh and announced that Akhilesh will remain the CM and no action will be taken against him. The SP supremo has left it upon Akhilesh to take back Shivpal and other ousted ministers. It can possibly also be a direction to portray that the CM has made peace with his uncle and that they are strong both in the government and the party.
During a party meeting on Monday, there were bitter verbal spats between Akhilesh and the opposing speakers Mulayam and Shivpal. Mulayam lambasted the CM questioning his capabilities to lead from the front and winning elections. After the tense party meeting, Mulayam met Akhilesh and Shivpal together and has told both of them that they have to keep their house in order and that Mulayam will not take any action against both of them. He also reiterated that Amar Singh should not be dragged into the tiff.
One of the major points that may open the pandora’s box again is the party’s ticket distribution. Shivpal and Akhilesh have had a bitter face-off over the issue in the past and as elections approach, Mulayam’s efforts may be undone once again.
Akhilesh had recently sacked Shivpal Yadav from his Cabinet along with four other ministers after the former alleged Shivpal of partnering with Amar Singh and allegedly conspiring against Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh Yadav. Akhilesh has distanced himself from the party top brass during recent weeks and has attempted to dig his feet into the party so that he keeps a standing among the party workers. Akhilesh’s chances of leading in the next elections for SP depend on whether he accepts Mulayam’s terms and he has to take the tough decision now on whether to accept the terms or continue on the course that has painted his image as a party rebel.
There are 210 MLAs of SP in the Assembly. Akhilesh Yadav has worked closely with his legislature party over the last four years and by even conservative estimates, at least half are known to back Akhilesh. Mulayam knows that a split in the party will hurt the SP’s future in UP politics and will remain adamant to keep Akhilesh and Shivpal on amicable terms.