LUCKNOW: Chief Minister and SP national president Akhilesh Yadav had not even wound up his campaign for the UP Assembly, that the simmering embers of the feud his family was locked in, caught fire again on Tuesday when his step-mother Sadhna Yadav chose to speak up about the squabble and its impelling impact on party prospects in the current polls.
While the state is yet to vote for the final phase of polls on March 8 and all was looking well in the Yadav family, Sadhna’s oblique statement hints at a bigger trouble the family might face in the days to come.
“The feud will certainly influence the verdict of the voter. Let’s see how it goes after March 11,” she said, while giving way to her doubts about the party’s performance, especially under the shadow of the family war.
However, changing the topic in the next moment, she tried to convey that she wanted the SP to win and Akhilesh to become the next chief minister.
In her first-ever interaction with the media on Tuesday, Sadhna openly shared her political ambitions narrating how she always wanted to join politics but was not allowed by Mulayam. “But now it is high time that I have my own way. I don’t want any party position or post for myself, but want it for my son Prateek. Party should send him to the Rajya Sabha,” she said.
The SP patriarch’s second wife was all praise for Akhilesh, who, she said, never disobeyed either his father or her. “I sincerely feel that the CM was misguided by someone who pushed him into this whole drama to remove Netaji from SP’s top post unceremoniously on January 1. I can’t bear Netaji’s humiliation. No one in the family could believe that Akhilesh would do that to his father,” she said, expressing her dismay even over Shivpal’s ouster as party’s state chief. She felt that injustice has been done to the beleaguered leader. "Shivpal has done a lot for Netaji and the party and he shouldn't have been insulted."
“I don’t blame anyone for what happened in Yadav clan. We were a happy, big joint family. I always worked to keep the flock intact, but as time and destiny would have it, things have fallen apart,” she rued.
When asked if she was on talking terms with Akhilesh after Janaury 1, she replied in the affirmative, adding, "I have been more in touch with Akhilesh since January 1 than I've been ever in the last five years. I want to see him become the chief minister again."
She did not mince words while expressing her agony over the aspersions people cast on her and blamed her for being the root of all troubles in the family.
"I feel bad after what happened in the family. A chief secretary was transferred and people said I was behind it. This is false, though I wish I were so powerful," Sadhna added in a pensive tone. She signed off by saying that Netaji’s honour and his stature should have been kept intact. “It is he who founded and nurtured the party painstakingly,” she said.