LUCKNOW: The ongoing intra-family feud in Samajwadi Party took a new turn on Sunday when patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav proclaimed that he was still the national president of the party.
Terming the national convention called on January 1-- in which his son and CM Akhilesh Yadav was anointed the national chief -- ‘illegal’ and ‘unconstitutional’ as it was called by sacked parry general secretary ram Gopal Yadav, Mulayam told reporters in Delhi that his younger brother Shivpal was still the state head of the party.
"Akhilesh is the chief minister," he however added. Reading out a pre-drafted text to the media persons at his Delhi residence, Mulayam questioned Ram Gopal Yadav’s right to call a national convention, “as he stands expelled for six years from the party,” he said.
“The national convention called by Ram Gopal was fake and so the decisions taken at it were illegal,” Mulayam said ruling out all the possibilities of a patch up with son Akhilesh. The SP chief was flanked by party leader Amar Singh who is seen as the reason for the rift between the father and the son.
Accepting that majority of MLAs were with Akhilesh, Mulayam said: “I have only 10-12 MLAs. Let him do whatever he is doing". However, he added it was time to fight the polls unitedly to get the party candidates win in the state.
Repeating his statements and reiterating his stand that Akhilesh is the Chief Minister and Ram Gopal out to ruin his future, Mulayam took the entire controversy back to point zero just a day ahead of EC’s expected decision in party symbol issue.
However, with party’s future at stake and so is the symbol, Mulayam is likely to meet the EC again along with Amar Singh on Monday afternoon laying claim over the party symbol. If the two factions fail to resolve their differences, EC might freeze the party symbol allotting tow different symbols to each faction.
Both the factions have been asked by the Election Commission to furnish their respective details to validate their claim on party symbol by Monday. Ram Gopal has already submitted papers with the EC claiming support of 205 MLA, 56 MLC and 15 MPs.
Meanwhile, in another development, Centre has upgraded security of Amar Singh to "Z" category. This step drew immediate reaction from Akhilesh camp calling the Rajya Sabha member a BJP agent.
Earlier in the day, in state capital Lucknow, Mulayam Singh Yadav, in a bid to reassert his authority as SP chief, reached the SP headquarters and sat in his office for some time, he also assured the party workers present there that nothing was wrong with the party and that things would become normal soon.
He, accompanied by Shivpal, then left for Delhi in the afternoon. Before he left for Delhi, he was asked at the airport about the ongoing tussle within the family and party, he said, "hamari party me koi vivad nahi hai" (There is no dispute in our party).