The son had risen, and he was shining bright enough to even dazzle the father.
Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav heard this message loud and clear early on Sunday morning, when hordes of party workers moved towards the iconic Janeshwar Mishra Park to attend an emergency national convention called by his detractors.
While senior party leaders, MPs, MLAs, MLCs and workers gathered at the park to extend their support to chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, his father’s house at 5, Vikramaditya Marg, wore a deserted look. Mulayam, however, was not one to take it lying down. Minutes before the start of the meeting, a letter signed by the party patriarch — terming the national convention as illegal — was circulated. He warned of disciplinary action against the rebels.
Meanwhile, senior SP leader Shivpal Singh Yadav was convening a parliamentary board meeting at Mulayam’s residence along with Gayatri Prajapati and Beni Prasad Verma. Midway through the event, news emerged that the national convention had appointed Akhilesh as the new national president and Mulayam as the party patron. While Shivpal had been removed from the SP state president’s post, national general secretary Amar Singh was expelled from the party itself.
Shivpal and his son Aditya immediately left for the party office but Akhilesh’s supporters had already positioned themselves at its gate. A scuffle broke out between supporters from both sides, after which the entry of SP leaders and workers into the party office was restricted.
Senior SP leader Abu Asim Azmi later told HT that the decision to elevate Akhilesh — supported by 207 MLAs — was taken to “save the party”. Mulayam would be reinstated to the post after the upcoming election was won, he added.
Mulayam, however, struck back by terming the resolution passed in the national convention as null and void. He expelled national general secretary Ramgopal Yadav for six years and called for an emergency national convention at Janeshwar Mishra Park on January 5. National vice-president Kiranmoy Nanda and Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Agarwal were also shown the door.
For the latest updates on the Yadav family feud, click here