All eyes are now set on a day-long silver jubilee foundation day programme of the Samajwadi Party in Lucknow on Saturday. The event is being seen as yet another showdown within the first family of the ruling party within the next 24 hours of such show by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on November 3 when he took out the ‘Vikas se Vijay Rath Yatra’.
Camps led by Akhilesh Yadav and state SP president Shivpal Yadav, respectively, have asked their supporters to mobilise the people for the silver jubilee programme.
Against the earlier speculations that Akhilesh Yadav could skip the November 5 programme, the Chief Minister on Thursday had made a fervent appeal to his supporters to accord the same priority to the silver jubilee programme as they have done for the rath yatra—thus sending a clear signal that “team Akhilesh” ‘will dominate the show on November 5 as they did on rath yatra.
Besides sending a message yet again that the party is united and the members of the first family are no longer involved in the battle of oneupmanship to control the party organisation, the sole objective of the silver jubilee programme is to give a call to all the anti-BJP secular forces to come on one platform to win 2017 UP assembly elections. Hectic efforts are already underway to unite all the anti-BJP forces and cobble together a grand alliance of the secular parties on the pattern of Bihar for contesting the next assembly elections.
However, the actual significance of the event is too well known to rank and file of the party where both the camps will vie with each other to steal the thunder of the show. A day after the Samajwadi Party put up a united front for the flag-off day of Rath yatra, both the camps of Akhilesh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav held separate meetings on Friday for the review of the preparations and crowd mobilisation for the silver jubilee foundation day programme.
The Chief Minister held meetings with his supporters – mostly the expelled Five MLCs of the party and minister of state Tej Narayan Pandey, who has also been expelled from the party. Several ministers, MLAs and youth leaders also attended the meeting.
Shivpal Yadav, in an apparent show of strength on Friday, organised a `Samajwadi Sammelan’ at the state office of the party where over a thousand leaders and cadres of the youth organisations participated. Shivpal Yadav said several leaders of the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Janata Dal (United), former Prime Minister HD Devegowda will participate. RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav and Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh have confirmed their participation. Shivpal Yadav said Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has expressed his inability to attend the programme due to chat puja in Bihar.
Later, talking to the media, Shivpal Yadav said nothing tangible has so far been achieved on the front of forging an alliance with the like-minded parties. He said party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav will take the final call for an alliance with the Congress and other parties. He, though, added “leaders of different parties are coming here , then we may discuss the issue’’.