Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, who also holds the post of president of the state unit of the Samajwadi Party, is likely to be divested of one of the two posts in the wake of the party’s disastrous performance in the Lok Sabha elections.
The SP tally in UP (80 seats) fell from 23 in the outgoing Lok Sabha to 5 this time.
“Friday’s drastic results would lead to radical changes,” a senior SP leader said, indicating that the party’s national president Mulayam Singh Yadav may ask son Akhilesh to step down from one of the two posts.
The leader said that after the SP’s tally fell from 35 in 2004 to 23 in 2009, Mulayam removed brother Shivpal Yadav from state presidentship and brought Akhilesh in his place.
“One should not head both the organisation as well as the government. The party is now realising that this was a mistake—one man heading the government in the most populous state of the country and also heading the biggest state unit of any party in India,” said the SP leader, who did not want to be named.
There have been murmurs in the party and outside after the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar about removing Akhilesh from the chief minister’s post and Mulayam taking charge of the state government.
Many SP leaders said Akhilesh should have quit the state presidentship the day he took over as chief minister.
A senior bureaucrat in Lucknow said, “He (Akhilesh) hardly functioned as chief minister in the past two or three months. He hadn’t been going to the secretariat and functioned from home. He was busier with party affairs than governance.”