Ahead of the final round of consultations for the merger of Samajwadi Party into the larger Janata Parivar comprising six other political parties, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav discussed the pros and cons of the step with senior party leaders here on Wednesday.
Yadav said he had always sided with secular and democratic parties. The need of the hour once again warranted that these political outfits should come together on one platform to defeat divisive and communal forces, he added.
He sought the views of party office-bearers on this ‘grand alliance’, a day before leaving for New Delhi on Thursday to participate in the final round of negotiations with the leaders of other political parties for the proposed merger expected by April-end.
The party leaders and office-bearers endorsed the move and said they would support any decision taken by him (Mulayam) in this regard.
“At the national level, we may have to enter the poll arena unitedly under a new party banner and symbol. But in the states, elections would be fought on the symbol of the party which emerges the strongest,” he told senior party leaders at the conference that was called to discuss pre and post merger issues. He also said efforts were on to select a party symbol and a consensus might emerge on choosing the bicycle (SP’s poll symbol) as the official emblem of the national alliance.
Besides chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and senior party leader Shiv Pal Yadav, the district presidents of the party from all over the state attended the brainstorming session.
After the merger discussions, the SP chief pulled up district party office-bearers, half-a-dozen of who were warned that they would be shown the door if they did not mend their ways and strengthen the party at the grassroots level.
Yadav scolded these party leaders for non-performance on the basis of ground report prepared by party’s Rajya Sabha members tasked with the job.
Yadav has set an April 15 deadline for formation of party’s booth level committees and preparation of an action plan to train party workers to publicise and propagate the state government’s achievements at the block level.
Don't run after ministers
Party leaders and office-bearers complained that ministers did not listen to them or acted on the problems pointed out by them.
“Your recommendations do not carry weight simply because you do not have the backing or support of the people you claim to represent.” Mulayam told them.
He said the party organization was more important than the government but instead of public service most of the time party leaders and office-bearers either sought personal favours from the ministers or pursued matters in which they had vested interests.
Seconding him, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said he was aware of the activities of the party office-bearers and how much money they were charging on the promise to get certain jobs done.