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Samajwadi Party feud: Mulayam Singh Yadav makes last-ditch effort to consolidate followers

On Monday while Mulayam Singh announced that of the party is voted to power, Akhilesh Yadav would be the Chief Minister, he had, hours before, written to the Rajya Sabha Chairman's office informing it of the expulsion of Ram Gopal Yadav and seeking he be allocated a back bench, rather than the prime front row he has been sitting in all these years as leader of the Samajwadi Party (SP) in the upper House.

Coming on a day after Mulayam and his chief minister son Akhilesh had a long meeting in Lucknow, the assertions by the father were repetitive in the sense that he tried to lay all the blame for the current, prolonged woes of the SP on Ram Gopal, while insisting that son Akhilesh had been "misled" by Ram Gopal.

"Na hum alag party bana rahe hain, na symbol badal rahe hain". I told (Akhilesh faction) them not to get into arguments.

Position of the party president remains a bottleneck for both father-son and the party.




The last such meeting between father and son last week had failed to end the impasse in the party which saw a vertical split as Akhilesh was anointed SP chief in place of Mulayam. Neither camp is willing to make the first move on withdrawing its petition before the Election Commission for claim on the party name and symbol. I am not forming another party.

They said Mulayam perhaps wanted to settle the matter once and for all by not inviting them for the talks. He wants to save his son (Akshay Yadav, party MP from Ferozabad) and daughter-in-law. Main gaya tha Delhi ke hamari party ki ekta me koi badhaa na daal paaye, Party ki ekta ke liye humne pura samay diya hai. You know it's not me trying to split the party.

Mulayam made these remarks while addressing party workers at the SP headquarters in Lucknow. By not giving up the post, Akhilesh wants to retain the right to allot the symbol by Form A and B to candidates. Core Yadav voters revere Mulayam and may vote for Akhilesh in case of a split, bringing gains to BJP. It was also an emotional appeal to his supporters and that it was life's hard work that was apparently being wrecked by Ram Gopal.

While the Election Commission is set to hear rival claims over the election symbol on 13 January, reports also say that Mulayam has sent feelers, through Amar Singh, to the Lok Dal to seek permission to use the latter's symbol in case "cycle" is frozen.

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