Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav broke down as he addressed party workers and leaders at a meeting called by his father and party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, saying, “Who is forming is a new party? I am not.”
“If Netaji asked me for resignation I would have given it”, said Akhilesh.
In his emotional speech, much of it addressed to his father, Akhilesh Yadav said some leaders in the party were conspiring against him. “I will fight against wrong as you have taught me,” he said to Mulayam Singh.
Ahead of the meeting at the Samajwadi Party’s Lucknow office, Akhilesh Yadav’s s supporters clashed with those of Shivpal Yadav, his uncle and the Samajwadi Party’s Uttar Pradesh chief, outside the party office, also engaging in competitive sloganeering.
On paper, Mulayam Singh has called the meeting to discuss plans to celebrate 25 years of the party he founded. But after yesterday’s dramatic events, the 77-year-old is expected to make an announcement to settle the crisis that has engulfed the Samajwadi Party as his son Akhilesh and favourite brother Shivpal Yadav have warred.
Amar Singh, the party’s newly appointed general secretary, is not at the meeting. Akhilesh Yadav has blamed Amar Singh for the turmoil in the party and the chief ministers hundreds of supporters outside the party office have been shouting slogans against him.
On Sunday, Akhilesh Yadav, 43, fired Shivpal Yadav, 61, as a minister in his government for the second time in a month. It was seen as a direct challenge to his father, who has been promoting Shivpal over him.
Mulayam Singh Yadav, apparently returning the favour, sacked from the Samjawadi Party, his cousin Ram Gopal Yadav, a trusted adviser to Akhilesh. Shivpal Yadav announced Ram Gopal Yadav’s expulsion “for colluding with the BJP”.
He also blamed Ram Gopal Yadav for the Samajwadi Party’s exit from the Nitish Kumar-led Grand Coalition in Bihar before elections in that state last year, widely seen as a political misstep by Mulayam Singh.
There is speculation now that Mulayam Singh may propose such an alliance for the UP elections, as he tackles his party’s big internal crisis that could place his son and him as rival leaders.
The removal of Shivpal Yadav was announced at that meeting, hurriedly called by Akhilesh after his father had set the meeting with the lawmakers and other party leaders for Monday.