Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav told his supporters on Thursday that he wants to be the national president of the Samajwadi Party for only three months. It is important that he leads the party during the election, he said, following which he will let his father Mulayam SIngh Yadav decide on who will be at the helm of the party.
Akhilesh held a four-hour meeting with his supporters, during which he said that the party's victory in the election will be his gift to his father, adding that his father was being advised by the wrong people. Akhilesh's team also received signed affidavits showing support from 210 of the 229 MLAs and 60 MLCs at the meeting. The signed affidavits, which state that the MLAs pledge their support to Akhilesh and choose him as the party president, will be submitted to the Election Commission.
A party cadre was quoted by the Economic Times as saying that Akhilesh had told them he was trying hard to talk to Mulayam and will continue doing so. "He told us that he had almost convinced Netaji in the morning to not go to Delhi and that he will try again, one more time, to settle the matters with him on Friday before his team leaves for Delhi," an SP MLC told the daily. Akhilesh had also insisted on Amar Singh's expulsion from the party but Mulayam did not agree to the demand.
The chief minister's team is confident about not having to face any difficulty to claim the party symbol since Mulayam and Shivpal Yadav do not have much support on their side and are relying on the clause that the meeting called by Akhilesh and Ram Gopal Yadav is invalid. Akhilesh also told his supporters to begin campaigning in their constituencies.
"EC has already made notings on the file regarding the symbol. We had given time to Akhilesh to respond. Akhilesh needs to act fast to prevent the symbol from being frozen," an SP leader told ET, adding that Akhilesh and his team had submitted a dossier of papers while Mulayam had only given a thin file.
The matter would take a while to get resolved since both groups have to approach the EC and submit their final papers.