Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav is expected to be formally elected as Samajwadi Party president for the next five years at the party’s national convention in Agra on Thursday. The party will also chalk out its strategy for the next Lok Sabha elections. Also on the agenda is a discussion on possible alliances for the next state Assembly polls.
Sources said SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav was likely to skip the meeting for the first time since he founded the party. Mulayam was earlier not invited to the special convention summoned by his cousin and party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav on January 1, where the patriarch was replaced by Akhilesh as the party’s national president.
SP leaders were tight-lipped when asked whether Mulayam had been invited to Thursday’s convention. Some said that Mulayam’s photographs were being given “prominent space” in the hoardings and cutouts placed near the venue in Agra.
The party’s national executive committee will meet on Wednesday evening in Agra to give final shape to a draft of the political-economic proposal, which will be presented at the convention for discussion and approval in the form of a resolution. Akhilesh will preside over the meeting on Wednesday.
At the convention, senior leaders will make suggestions and propose amendments to the proposal before its formal approval. More than 12,000 party delegates from more than a dozen states will be present.
The election process for the post of party president will be completed in the presence of Ram Gopal, who will be the election in-charge. Both the inaugural and concluding speeches of the convention will be delivered by Akhilesh.
Several SP leaders who had stayed away from party affairs due to Akhilesh’s differences with Mulayam and uncle Shivpal Yadav could be present due to Mulayam’s recent appeal to strengthen the SP, said sources.
They said that Shivpal would skip the meet. Party leaders close to him claimed he may float a new political outfit or join another political party after the Agra convention.