The rift in the Samajwadi Party once again came to the fore at the silver jubilee celebrations. At an apparent dig at Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Shivpal Yadav in his address to party workers has clearly ruled himself out of the chief ministerial race in the run-up to the upcoming assembly elections, but stopped short of declaring Akhilesh for the post.
“Khoon mangoge toh khoon bhi de denge, CM kabhi nahi banana. Kitna bhi apmaan karlo, main jaanta hoon accha kaam kia hai (If they want blood, I’ll give it to them but I don’t want to be the chief minister. You can insult me as much as you want, I know I have done good work),” he said. The leader made the announcement in Lucknow in the presence of SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and CM Akhilesh Yadav at the dias.
“It is because of Netaji’s struggle and the risks he took that SP was able to form government in UP not once but thrice,” he said. He then reiterated that he was ready to sacrifice anything for the party but he didn’t want to be the chief minister. “Jitna tyag lena chaho le lo, mujhe mukhya mantri nahi banana hai (you can take anything from me, but I don’t want to be the chief minister),” he said.
In a jibe clearly aimed at Akhilesh, Shivpal said many people earned their positions in the SP through hard work, some by cosying up to the powers that be, while other had simply “inherited” the legacy. He added, “But there are some people in the party who, despite giving their life to it, get nothing. I want to say that while many have had a good time at the expense of the party, many others feel deeply insulted, and sidelined.”
The Samajwadi Party has been in the middle of a bitter family feud between Akhilesh and his uncle Shivpal, with party workers divided on the issue. Party supremo Mulayam has time and again insisted that there is no rift within the party even as both Shivpal and Akhilesh seemed to be at odds with each other.