Caught between his son and brother, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav proposed a four-point truce formula but the nascent peace in the party seems cosmetic and wafer thin as `chacha’ and `bhatija’ continued to be at daggers drawn and not ready to accommodate each other.
Akhilesh opened his heart out when questioned as to why he stripped uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav of all portfolios. “Everyone asks me this question … but no one asks what I have lost. No one talks about how I should be compensated,” Yadav said at a programme of a news channel in Lucknow on Friday.
“I want … I should also have a say in the selection of candidates for the next election. The 2017 polls are my test too. … I know as to who would be a better candidate for a particular seat. Take all posts from me, but give me the right of selection of candidates,” Yadav said with a smile but a distinct pain in his voice was palpable.
After being removed from the state chief’s post, Akhilesh loses the right to selection of candidates. Shivpal Yadav, who has been appointed as the next state president, gets that right and has the prerogative in the selection of candidates.
“This is not a justified claim,” Shivpal Singh Yadav said when he was told of Akhilesh’s demand. “When I was removed as the state president in 2011, I never threw tantrums. That was the time when Mayawati had unleashed police force against SP workers. They were beaten up. Then I wanted many leaders should get the ticket but once I was removed from that post, I lost that right and never questioned Akhilesh’ leadership,” he said.
In the same vein, Shivpal said: “Akhilesh should learn from his elders. He should learn from my experience. Who will be given a ticket or not, will be decided by Netaji. Who am I or for that matter Akhilesh, to question Netaji’s wisdom.”
Shivpal Singh also took a jibe at Akhilesh’ statement of throwing out an outsider from the party for delving into family matters. The Chief Minister was obviously referring to Amar Singh. “No one will be expelled from the party. All people have good and bad qualities. We should use good qualities of these people,” said Shivpal.
“Akhilesh is surrounded by cabinet ministers who do not work. There are people in Akhilesh’s coterie who are useless. Some of them sitting here are sending messages to Akhilesh about what I am saying. Should I remove them too,” the senior leader asked.
Shivpal said Amar Singh was inducted into the party with Netaji’s consent. “Similarly, the merger of the Qaumi Ekta Dal is being questioned by some leaders. That merger was also approved by Netaji. Are we big enough to question Netaji’s decisions,” he asked.
Incidentally, both chacha and bhatija time and again said that they would abide by Netaji’s directives. Akhilesh even said that he would do whatever Netaji asks him to. “If he asks me to give away the CM’s post, I will happily do so,” the CM said.
Shivpal said the Chief Minister’s post is very important. “Pride enters the incumbent’s mind. I have seen many Chief Ministers behave differently after becoming the CM,” he said without naming Akhilesh.
Though Shivpal called Akhilesh his ‘son’, his statements indicated that the apparent thaw in relationship was superficial, to say the least. Tension runs deep between the two close kins. They might have called a truce under pressure from Mulayam Singh Yadav, but both have lost the bonhomie which they once enjoyed.