SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday expressed disappointment over the alliance between his party and the BSP for Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh. “He (SP president Akhilesh Yadav) has forged an alliance with (BSP chief) Mayawati… got 40 out of 80 seats. My feeling is that about 25-26 seats may be won. Had Mulayam done that, it would not have happened. I would have objected then only,” Mulayam told the media, speaking on the lawns of the party office here. His son Akhilesh was initially present on stage with Mulayam, but left after a few minutes.
“Who is destroying the party — people within are doing it…,” Mulayam continued, with SP state president Naresh Uttam Patel by his side.
“There are few days left for Lok Sabha elections. Party members still don’t know who are contesting… There is just one aim, to win the elections.”
Having expressed his wish to see PM Narendra Modi return to power, this is the second time in a fortnight that SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav has made remarks that would embarrass the SP-BSP. His remarks may not mean much, beyond bringing cheer to the BJP, but creates poor optics for the SP ahead of elections.
Speaking about his tenures as CM, he said, “I was CM thrice… When I was CM, the party won 39 seats in Lok Sabha elections and three bypolls… We had 42 seats in Lok Sabha… The work I did as defence minister is remembered even now by the forces.”
Apparently taking a dig at Akhilesh, Mulayam said the “SP president” told him that he would decide who would get tickets. “Tickets will be given by Akhilesh. He told me he has the party symbol. I told him that it is in my hands to remove that.”
Later in the day, the SP-BSP alliance announced their seat-sharing arrangement.