A day after Samajwadi party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav brokered an uneasy truce between his chief minister son Akhilesh and brother Shivpal, supporters of the CM and his uncle began converging at the party’s headquarters on Saturday morning.
Volunteers of the Samajwadi Party’s youth wings - Lohia vahini, Chatra Sabha and Mulayam Singh Youth Brigade – who were the first to show up on Saturday morning, gheraoed the party’s state headquarters insisting that the state president’s post be restored to chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.
The volunteers have also demanded an audience with Mulayam himself.
Shivpal’s supporters also converged at the party’s headquarters shortly afterwards . Both groups began shouting their respective demands.
Carrying posters of the chief minister and his wife Dimple, Akhilesh supporters far outnumbered Shivpal’s who are dressed in T-shirts with his picture on them.
“We have conveyed our feelings to Netaji (Mulayam) that we (all youth frontal organisations) will not be able to work with anyone except Akhilesh. We want him back as state president. Youth is feeling dejected after his removal, they are depressed and even ready to immolate themselves in his favour,” Mohd Aibad, President Mulayam Singh Yadav Youth Brigade, said.
MLCs Rajpal Kashyap and Anand Bhadauria, who had in past held posts in SP’s front organisations, also raised slogans in his favour.
“Nejati on many occasions has said the youth should lead. We want him to bring back Akhilesh who is undisputed leader of youth and poor and has done a lot for the development of state,” Kashyap said.
Police ordered to block road leading to the SP office and Mulayam’s house to prevent Akhilesh and Shivpal’s supporters from reaching there.
Earlier this week, the party had plunged into a crisis after Akhilesh took away three portfolios from Shivpal hours after Mulayam removed the chief minister as the UP party president and named his brother to the position.
Differences in the Yadav clan have been simmering for a while and can be attributed to a generational clash. On Friday, Mulayam announced at the party office in Lucknow that there was no rift in the party and that it would not split till he was around.
With assembly elections just a few months away , the question of who gets to decide the party candidates for the 2017 polls still remains a sore point in the party. While Akhilesh would like to have the final say, he is likely to face stiff resistance from Shivpal who said that Mulayam would distribute election tickets.
(With PTI inputs)