The script thickens in Samajwadi Party as the tongue has started wagging about the villain who has scripted the feud in the Yadav family. Is it ‘sauteli ma’? A letter from Akhilesh Yadav loyalist Udai Veer Singh points finger at Sadhna Gupta – the stepmother of the Chief Minister even as Shivpal Singh Yadav declared that Akhilesh Yadav will be the chief ministerial face of the Samajwadi Party.
“Let there be no confusion on the chief ministerial face of the party and leadership issue. Akhilesh Yadav is the chief ministerial face of the party. I am ready to give it in writing on the stamp paper that Akhilesh Yadav will be the next chief minister of the state if the Samajwadi party is voted back to power,” said Shivpal Yadav, state president of the party.
As expected, the chief minister skipped the meeting even as he was in the state capital on Friday.
“If anybody has any doubts over my credentials and my statement, then I am even ready to step down from the post of the state president of the party. I will not wait even for a second to resign if district leaders demand this from him.’’ said Shivpal Yadav, adding,
“The party is united and there are no differences and all of you close your ranks and devote your time and energy for the success of the silver jubilee foundation day function in the state capital on November 5.
“I will be the first person to propose the name of Akhilesh Yadav for the office of the chief minister if the Samajwadi Party is voted back to power in 2017 state assembly elections,” Shivpal Yadav said thrice before the district and city leaders of the party here as he was virtually mobbed by a volley of questions from them.
The recent bickering in the party, coupled with the confusion on the chief ministerial face, has caused immense damage to the electoral prospects of the party ahead of the crucial assembly elections.
Shivpal Yadav said that there is no differences within the party and the family and blamed the media for blowing the issue out of proportion.”Everything is right in the party, and we will form the government,” he said while admitting that if there are some issues, those would be resolved soon.
Seeking to downplay the absence of the chief minister from the day-long meeting, Shivpal Yadav said: “I had invited the Chief Minister to attend the meeting but as he was busy in some official work of the government, hence he could not attend’’. Shivpal Yadav did not mention a word about the proposed ‘Vikas Rath Yatra’ to be taken out by the chief minister from Lucknow on November 3.
He also asked the district leaders to bring maximum number of supporters to the foundation day function in Lucknow on November 5 as it will be an important political event for the party before the assembly polls. He also fixed the target of number of people to be brought from each district and also appointed convener of each district to monitor the preparations and mobalisation of the people.
The convener of the silver jubilee function and transport minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati was also present in the meeting. Almost all the district and city leaders were also given opportunity to speak in the meeting.
SP sources in Lucknow said that almost all the district and city presidents and general secretaries of 95 units attended this meeting barring a few who could not come due to illness or some other personal reasons.
Haji Rasheed Khan, district president of Muzaffarnagar, said that the deliberations in the meeting centered on the party function of November 5. He said that the November 5 function would be a big rally in Lucknow with all the district leaders having been asked to bring as many people as possible from their region.
Another SP leader and general secretary of Gonda district Pramod Pandey said that the entire meeting revolved on the foundation day function with Shivpal Yadav clarifying the issue of differences among the top leaders of the party.
Apprehending trouble and protest demonstration from the youth leaders of the party, the district administration had made elaborate security arrangements at the state office of the Samajwadi party. The venue was turned into a fortress and none, except the invited office bearers of the party, were allowed entry to the office. The invitees were frisked before their entry and no one was allowed inside with their mobile phones or any other electronic gadgets.
On Thursday evening, after returning from Mahoba, Shivpal Yadav had visited Akhilesh Yadav at his official to persuade him to attend the meeting of the district presidents on Friday.
However, the CM told him that he has drawn his own plans for the next elections. All eyes are now fixed on whether Akhilesh Yadav attends the meeting of the state executive of the party here on Saturday.
The ruling party has also convened the meeting of the MLA, MLCs, ex Legislators and MPs and the candidates for the 2017 assembly elections and other senior leaders in Lucknow on October 24. SP sources said the CM is likely to skip all the meetings.
Akhilesh Yadav has already announced a programme to launch his election campaign from November 3. He is also expected to skip the silver jubilee function of the party on November 5 at the Janeshwar Mishra Park.
Meanwhile, he met district presidents of the party at his official residence. In a brief interaction with them, the chief minister enquired about the political environment in their respective districts and the electoral prospects of the party.