Urged by his brother to take up the mantle of the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (PSP), former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday simply said “the new party is needed”. And then, he left for the SP office.
In the afternoon, Mulayam visited his brother Shivpal Singh Yadav’s PSP office at 6, Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg, the erstwhile residence of his political rival BSP chief Mayawati. This was the first time that the two brothers met at the party office since it was founded earlier this month.
What happened behind closed doors is not known, but outside, Shivpal began urging his brother to join him.
“We will honour everyone,” said Shivpal, calling for SP workers to join his party. “All those Samajwadi Party people who have been sidelined, we will honour them. It is our responsibility to go to them and bring them together with respect. Wherever we are going, people are coming with us… The people are just waiting for netaji… under his leadership…we will defeat BJP… Whatever netaji orders, we will follow.”
Then, facing his brother, Shivpal said, “You have to be the national president (of PSP).”
“Call your party’s national convention,” said Mulayam.
“I will call for one in a fortnight. There I will propose your name for party president.”
Mulayam simply said, “Naya party hona chahiye.”
“The country is dealing with a lot of issues,” said Mulayam. “There are questions regarding Kashmir and Pakistan. The SP takes important decisions and work for the society and the farmers and women… We have to connect women and youths with the party and have to be inclusive.”
Someone from the crowd interrupted. “Mulayamji, yeh toh Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party hai.”
“Accha ab Samajwadi Party ka dusra naam Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party ho gaya hai,” said the veteran leader. He then left for the SP office where he met with his son and party chief Akhilesh.