The crisis in the first family of the ruling Samajwadi Party, which is facing a bitter power struggle, has deepened; the proposed rally of family patriarch and party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav in Azamgarh, slated for October 6, has been cancelled after there were reports of the youths burning an effigy of Amar Singh. MSY is an MP from Azamgarh and Amar Singh belongs to Azamgarh.
In an official communication, the Samajwadi Party declared that it has cancelled the proposed Azamgarh rally “because of unavoidable circumstances.” It did not elaborate on the circumstances that forced party leadership to take this decision but said the next date of the rally and venue will be announced later. Sources in the SP said that the apprehension of protest and demonstration by leaders of the party’s youth organisations against the replacement of Akhilesh Yadav by Shivpal Singh Yadav as SP state president and the appointment of Amar Singh as national general secretary of the party against the wishes of the Chief Minister forced the leadership to cancel the rally.
A senior leader in Samajwadi Party said that after reaching Lucknow, MSY held a meeting with his younger brother Shivpal Yadav and minister Balram Yadav, a native of Azamgarh on Saturday evening. In that meeting, Balram Singh Yadav, who is in-charge of the rally, told MSY about the protest by some youth activists in which they burnt an effigy of Amar Singh.
Sources say that Balram Singh Yadav even suggested that the youths might stage a protest in the rally or show black flags to Mulayam Singh Yadav. This made MSY cancelled the rally. Leaders say preparation for the rally was going on at full steam. Over 5 lakh people were expected to attend this rally. “Distribution of hoardings and banners had started and nearly 35 percent hoardings had already been erected in the district. The rally was being held to launch the party’s election campaign,” a leader said.
Shivpal Yadav on September 20 had convened a meeting of the ministers, MLAs, MLCs, district presidents of the 15 districts of eastern UP and candidates for the 2017 assembly election to review the preparations for the rally. He had asked leaders and the rank and file of the party to deploy all their might for the success of the rally. Minister of secondary education department Balram Yadav was put in charge of the rally and his son Sangram Yadav, MLA from Atraulia seat in Azamgarh, was made the convener of the rally.
It is the second time SP has cancelled its programme. Earlier, Akhilesh Yadav was to launch his Vikas Yatra from October 3 but the same was cancelled. When asked Akhilesh had said jokingly that he would decide about Yatra date after consulting astrologers.