Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday said he is not going to form a new party or front as was being speculated and urged people to support the party which he said has been able to reach small villages. In a typical approach he has displayed several times, Mulayam did not make any detailed statement at the press conference that would offer clarity on the leadership tussle with his son Akhilesh Yadav and younger brother Shivpal Yadav, who remained sidelined in the party. He parried more questions than he answered.
Shivpal’s absence at the press conference indicated he was not happy with what Mulayam had decided to tell the press conference which had been eagerly awaited by Shivpal’s supporters, many of whom raised slogans outside the office of Ram Manohar Lohia Trust, the venue the interaction with media.
Mulayam said Shivpal had gone to Etawah and Mainpuri for “some important work”. However, sources said Shivpal was present in Lucknow and even met his supporters in the afternoon. Mulayam was accompanied by party veteran Bhagwati Singh and former minister Sharda Pratap Shukla.
Soon after Mulayam concluded his press conference, Akhilesh tweeted: “Netaji zindabad Samajwadi Party zindabad.”
Mulayam criticised the BJP governments at the Centre and in the state and stressed that there was a need for all socialists to unite. “There is a need for socialists to unite. I appeal that those who belong to the socialist ideology should join us and the Samajwadi Party,” he said.
In response to a question that Akhilesh had recently said he had Mulayam’s blessings, he said: “Putra hai toh ashirwad to hai, lekin unke jo nirnay hain unse hum sehmat nahi hain (He is my son so he has my blessings. But I am not in agreement with his decisions).”
He refused to elaborate which decisions of Akhilesh were not acceptable to him.
To a question that Akhilesh had promised to hand over the reins of the party to him after the Assembly elections, Mulayam said: “Leave it now. He had said that he will take control of the party for only three months and then give it back. A person who cannot keep his word will never succeed. He cheated his father. You have also heard what the tallest leader of this country said about him.” Mulayam then referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement, saying, “Jo apne baap ka nahi hua, wo kisi ka nahi ho sakta(someone who is not faithful to his father cannot be faithful to anyone else).”
In a reply to one question, he said he will not go to the party’s national convention in Agra on October 5. In response to another question, he said: “I am with the SP and I am in the SP.”
He said Akhilesh “has himself left the party in a way”.
To a question whether there still remains any possibility of resolving differences between him and his son, Mulayam said: “Differences keep occurring between father and son. What can I say on this?”
He also declined to answer if he was with Akhilesh or Shivpal. Shivpal’s supporters were, however, surprised as they were expecting an announcement from Mulayam about forming a new political outfit with Shivpal.