Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav appealed for party unity on Wednesday, blaming his cousin Ramgopal Yadav of trying to create fissures barely a month before Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.
“I don’t want the party to split, the party should always be united,” Mulayam told party workers in Lucknow. “Ram Gopal Yadav wanted to form a new party - ‘Akhil Bhartiya Samajwadi Party - with motorcycle as the symbol.”
The former UP chief minister said he had declared Akhilesh Yadav as the party’s CM candidate. “Then what’s the need of a new party?,” he asked.
“We will save the party, I want to save the party. I want to save our cycle,” Yadav said in an impassioned plea to workers at the SP office.
In a meeting with Mulayam on Tuesday, UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had refused to step down as the party president.
He also turned down Mulayam’s offer that both the factions withdraw applications submitted to the election commission, staking claim to the party symbol – a bicycle.
Mulayam, said sources, was ready to give Akhilesh a free hand in deciding poll candidates, a big reason for chief minister’s running feud with his uncle Shivpal Yadav that is tearing the party apart.
Though Mulayam agreed to keep Shivpal, his younger brother, and Amar Singh out of the election, he was firm on not accepting the Akhilesh faction’s decision to throw Singh out of the party.
Mulayam told Akhilesh while he would stay on as the party chief, the chief minister would get all the powers enjoyed by party general secretary Ramgopal.
The offer was read as an attempt to distance Akhilesh from Ramgopal, who has stood by him in the family feud.