LUCKNOW: The new president of the Samajwadi Party would be elected at party’s national convention by September 30 this year and election for various party posts would be held soon, said party chief Akhilesh Yadav here on Saturday.
He was speaking to media persons after the SP national executive meeting, which was organised to take stock of the party’s crushing defeat in the recently-concluded UP polls. SP tally came down to 47 in 2017 from 227 in 2012 when the party had formed the government in the state with Akhilesh as CM.
However, to the surprise of many, SP patriarch and party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav chose to skip the meeting along with brother and ex-SP state chief Shivpal Singh Yadav. As per party sources, though Mulayam was extended an invitation on Friday evening, Shivpal was totally ignored. Moreover, senior SP leader from Rampur Azam Khan also kept away from the Saturday meeting.
At the meeting, the party decided to discuss the reason for defeat in great detail at the district unit level. Talking to the media later, Akhilesh cleared air on the SP-Congress tie-up saying that it would go on. This statement gathers weight in view of the opposition’s bid to stich up a grand anti-BJP alliance ahead of 2017 Lok Sabha elections.
“We will start a membership drive from April 15 for two months to expand our party base. Then, by September 30, elections to various posts — from national level to district level — would be completed,” he added.
Responding to a query on present government’s alleged bid to target members of a particular caste in the state police force, Akhilesh said it was for the media to judge. “We never worked against any caste or community and the Samajwadi Party government brought in policies and programmes irrespective of caste and community,” he averred.
On the crackdown on illegal slaughter houses, the SP chief said that meat traders were being unnecessarily harassed. “I heard that even lions and tigers in zoos are going hungry. There is nothing new in this move,” he said.