Mulayam Singh Yadav has called for a parliamentary board meeting of the Samajwadi Party (SP) in Lucknow on Friday to put an end to the fight between his son and brother.
The feud between Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and another senior minister Shivpal Yadav has been going on for two days after the former stripped the latter of three important portfolios and sacked two other ministers. Shivpal then rushed to Delhi to meet party chief and elder brother Mulayam and expressed his reluctance to work under Akhilesh saying that he would not work as a downgraded and demoted minister.
"I am still in government.. I will do whatever Netaji (Mulayam Singh) asks me to do... I am now State chief... My only goal is that we should win the elections in 2017... Mulayam Singh is the mukhia (leader); Akhikesh is the CM," Shivpal told reporters at UP Sadan.
According to the Hindu, Mulayam is considering a compromising formula wherein Shivpal could continue as the state unit chief, while the constitution of the party could be amended to make Akhilesh the National Working President. However, party sources said that Shivpal is willing to let go of the state unit chief post if he is given back his portfolios.
Mulayam had appointed his brother as the state unit chief on Wednesday after his son sacked two ministers close to Shivpal the day before. In retaliation, Akhilesh stripped his uncle of his portfolios.
Meanwhile, the UP CM described the fight as "a tussle in the government, not the family."
"Yeh ghar ki ladai nahi hai, yeh sarkar ki ladai hai (this is not a family feud, this is a fight for the government)... Kaun Netaji ki baat nahin manega? Jahan tak main samajhta hoon parivar ki baat hai...Yadi koi nirnay liya hai to Netaji ke kehne se hi. Kabhi-kabhi kuch nirnay apne aap liye jaate hain... Netaji ke kehne se nirnay liye aur kuch nirnay apne aap liye (Who will not follow Netaji's instructions? If I have taken any decision, it is on his directive. But sometimes you have to take a few decisions on your own)," Akhilesh told reporters.
He also said that "outsiders" were intervening in party decisions but did not take any names.
"Ab agar ghar se bahar ke log hastakshep karenge toh party kaise chalegi (How will the party function if there is intervention by outsiders)," the CM said, possibly hinting at Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh who has again joined the party after years. Singh does not share a good rapport with Akhilesh who was also opposed to the decision of letting Singh join the party after a gap of so many years.
However, Singh has denied that Akhilesh was referring to him as an "outsider" saying: "Akhilesh Yadav is like a son to me and he did not take my name as an outsider. No matter how many times you say Akhilesh had said this, I am not ready to accept it. Until today he has never personally spoken out against me."
Shivpal's appointment as the new UP chief means that he will have a say in all party decisions in the run-up to the 2017 elections, including the selection of candidates and planning the poll campaign.
The party has introduced a Mulayam Sandesh Rath Yatra, while Shivpal will be launching the election campaign from Azamgarh, his Lok Sabha constituency. He will also address a rally on Oct. 7.