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A day after meetings between Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav failed to quell the ongoing feud within the family, senior minister Azam Khan and other leaders held another round of meetings at the SP patriarch’s residence, where Mulayam’s nephew and party MP from Badaun, Dharmendra Yadav, known to have sided with Akhilesh, too was called later in the day.
Hours before the Election Commission announced the polls schedule for state Assembly, the urgency to broker peace appeared palpable in the faction-ridden party so that the vertical split in the organisation does not create confusion among voters as to which was the real SP.
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After spending around three hours with Mulayam, Azam met Akhilesh at his at his 5, Kalidas Marg residence and then returned to the SP founder’s home with Dharmendra in tow.
According to sources, minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati, ex-ministers Om Prakash Singh and Narad Rai were also present at the meeting with Mulayam, as was gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed, who featured as the candidate from Kanpur Cantonment in the senior leader’s list.
While the outcome of the day-long talks was yet to be known at the time of going to press, party workers assembled outside the state headquarters and Mulayam’s home, hoping for a truce.
Sources further said that Shivpal stayed at Mulayam’s residence from morning to late evening. Akhilesh attended a few government events on Wednesday and met some of his aides at his home.
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On Tuesday, a three-hour meeting between Mulayam and Akhilesh did nothing to settle the matter, with Ram Gopal Yadav in Delhi maintaining that there was “no possibility” of a truce now, and that they (the Akhilesh camp) would be contesting polls on all 403 seats.
The chief minister had seized control of the Samajwadi Party and ousted his father as national president in a party convention on Sunday. The convention had resolved to remove Shivpal as state party chief and expelled Amar — a Mulayam loyalist — from the party as well.