DAYS AFTER Mulayam Singh Yadav said SP would not split and also accepted that his son would become chief minister again if it returns to power, Akhilesh on Thursday said “all is well in the party.” “Don’t get trapped in the symbol dispute. It is before EC and will get resolved tomorrow,” he told party workers who had assembled at this residence.
Watch What Else is Making News
“Go to the masses. I will draw up my tour programme and will join you,” Akhilesh, who replaced Mulayam as the SP president recently, directed his supporters, who aired their strong desire that he should be the chief minister again. Akhilesh told his ministers and legislators that they should not worry about tickets.
“You will get tickets, do not worry. Work hard for SP’s victory,” he told them during the 90-minute animated interaction. “All is well in the party,” he added.
Since elections were announced on January 4, Akhilesh has hardly made any public appearance and has been meeting selected leaders and government officials at his 5, Kalidas Marg residence. During the last 10 days, he has also met Mulayam twice.
SP spokesperson and Cabinet Minister Rajendra Chaudhary, considered close to Akhilesh, said: “The CM is waiting for the Election Commission’s decision on the party symbol and leadership, which is expected after the Friday hearing. He will speak in public after finalising the strategy. He will start campaign after January 17.”
Asked why Akhilesh has only released a list of 235 candidates, he added: “More candidates will also be announced very soon… The CM is working on the manifesto for the elections.”
Another leader close to Akhilesh said, “Akhileshji is avoiding to speak in the public because he is waiting for the EC’s decision on party symbol. When he will speak, he will spell out the strategy and remain firm on his decision. While Netaji changes his statement every day, the CM is waiting for the right moment.”
“Akhilesh has taken feedback from several leaders and wings of the party regarding the election manifesto. It will be released after the party’s symbol and leadership is finalised by the EC,” the leader added.
The seven-phase Assembly elections in UP will begin on February 11 and filing of nominations will start on January 17, before which the symbol dispute has to be resolved.