Lucknow, Sep 17 (IANS) Conflicting signals continued to emerge from Uttar Pradesh’s ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) on Saturday amid efforts by party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav to douse the raging fire of dissent between Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and state party president Shivpal Yadav.
In the morning, as supporters of both leaders came face to face and protested on the streets in favour of their respective leaders, party chief Mulayam Singh swung into action and stuck to his ground on his decision to appoint his brother Shivpal Yadav as state unit chief.
Mulayam Singh, however, accommodated son and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in the candidate selection process of the state parliamentary board.
Akhilesh Yadav, who reallocated the portfolios he stripped Shivpal Yadav of, additionally gave him medical education and minor irrigation. He however left an irritant — as he retained the most important portfolio of PWD with himself and did not return it to his uncle.
Angry at the supporters of Akhilesh Yadav for almost laying siege to his house, Mulayam Singh is reported to have rung up the chief minister and asked him to tell his supporters to retreat immediately. Supporters of Akhilesh Yadav also tried to stop the car of Shivpal Yadav who was headed to the residence of Mulayam Singh, giving his security men a tough time in clearing the road for the cavalcade.
Later addressing party workers at the party headquarters in Vikramaditya Marg, Mulayam Singh chided the youth workers and asked them to remain within limits. He asked them what they were doing in Lucknow when all the decisions had been made for elections for the state assembly.
“While BJP leaders are working overtime to strengthen booths for elections you are engaged in tamasha (drama) here,” he said angrily.
He once again reiterated his support for younger brother Shivpal Yadav and said he too had done immense work for the party, and mused that he would not allow all this to happen in the party to which he has given his sweat and blood.
Mulayam Singh also said that during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he had given everything that was asked of him by the Chief Minister and his team but the disastrous results were for all to see. The SP won just five of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state while the BJP won 73 with its alliance partner Apna Dal, the Congress won two seats and Bahujan Samaj Party drew a blank.
Akhilesh Yadav later appealed through the media that banners, hoardings and posters along with sloganeering should be stopped with immediate effect. He also informed that he had lunch with uncle at his home and wished him on his becoming the state unit chief.
“We have done a lot of work with regards to infrastructure, development, roads, dairy, electricity, and in the social sector, and we will go to the people with our good work, seeking a second term,” he told reporters.
The situation continued to be fluid however as tensions continued in both camps.
While Shivpal Yadav supporters are angry that he has not been given the PWD portfolio, they also fear a parallel centre of power – chairman of the state parliamentary board – has been created which, they say, will create problems in the future during the distribution of tickets for the forthcoming state assembly elections.
Akhilesh Yadav supporters are sullen that the decisions of their leader had been reversed and the re-induction of ministers like Gayatri Prajapati in the cabinet would taint his clean image. Sensing that some knots still continued, Mulayam Singh has called a meeting between Shivpal Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav again.