They were at the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Park in Lucknow to pay tribute to the party ideologue on his death anniversary.
The duo were last seen together in October last year at a party meeting called after then chief minister Akhilesh dismissed four cabinet ministers, including Mulayam’s younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav, and then party chief Mulayam expelled his cousin Ram Gopal Yadav from the party.
On Thursday, Mulayam arrived at the park before Akhilesh and was greeted by the latter’s supporters, including state party chief Naresh Uttam, Leader of Opposition in Assembly Ram Govind Chaudhary and Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Ahmed Hasan.
Akhilesh arrived a few minutes later. He went straight to his father and touched his feet. He requested Mulayam to pay floral tributes to Lohia first, but Mulayam insisted that Akhilesh do it, seemingly as he is party chief.
Asked by mediapersons about differences in the family, Mulayam replied, “Parivar pehle bhi ek tha, aaj bhi ek hai, aage bhi ek hi rahega. (The family was united earlier, is so now and will remain so in the future)”.
Conspicuous by his absence at the park was Shivpal, who has strained relations with his nephew. Earlier in the day, however, Shivpal and Mulayam were seen at the Ram Manohar Lohia Trust office, paying tributes to the party ideologue. While Shivpal stayed back, Mulayam reached the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Park.
Akhilesh was elected SP national president for the next five years in the party’s national convention recently held in Agra. Days before the convention, Akhilesh had met Mulayam at his residence in Lucknow. Before the convention, Shivpal too had spoken to Akhilesh over phone and wished him in advance for election as the SP national president.