- NL Sena
The widening rift within the Samajwadi party makes for a perfect Bollywood family drama script. With the father-son duo at loggerheads; the son sacking his father’s ‘favourite brother’ Shivpal Singh Yadav; and the father evening the score by sacking Akhilesh’s favourite uncle, Ram Gopal Yadav, the current situation in Uttar Pradesh has all the ingredients for it. Today, it began with clashes between Akhilesh’s and Shivpal’s camp ahead of the Samajwadi Party address in Lucknow, which ended with a face-off between the two.
While today’s meeting was called to discuss plans to celebrate the silver jubilee of the party on November 5, Netaji instead convened it to settle the crisis within the party.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was the first to address the party workers and refuted all rumours about forming a new party. A teary-eyed Akhilesh said that he respected ‘Netaji’ (Mulayam) and would resign if asked. He said, “If Netaji asked for my resignation, I would give it. Let Netaji install a chief minister who he feels is honest.”
Yet, Akhilesh’s emotional speech was followed by a lot of booing by party workers when his uncle and sacked minister Shivpal took the stage and called him a “liar”.
While this war of words may go on, Mulayam Singh Yadav reprimanded Akhilesh and urged him to learn from the Prime Minister, “PM became PM with dedication and struggle. He comes from a poor family, says he can’t leave his mother.” When it seemed like all was well between Akhilesh and Shivpal after Mulayam’s address when they hugged it out, things got worse. They got into a physical altercation and a disappointed Akhilesh immediately left the venue.
What this means for Akhilesh is anybody’s guess.