The Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday appointed his son Akhilesh Yadav, 36, as chief of the party’s UP unit.
The post was so far held by Yadav’s younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav, who is also leader of Opposition in state assembly.
Akhilesh Yadav had won Lok Sabha election from Kannauj and Firozabad. He has however retained Kannauj seat.
The move is aimed at countering rising popularity of AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi in UP and the BJP’s plan to push Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi to improve its dwindling fortunes in the state.
Shivpal Yadav had taken over the party’s reign after the death of life-long president Ram Saran Das last year. By inducting Akhilesh as state unit head, Mulayam has not only given a younger look, but has also further firmed up family grip over the party. Akhilesh was so far chairman of all frontal organizations of the party.
Yadav has also nominated former MP Om Prakash Singh as general secretary and Rashid Masood, who was defeated in Lok Sabha election from Saharanpur, as member central parliamentary board.
Welcoming the change the SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhury said it would help in further energizing the party in the state.
Chaudhury said Akhilesh Yadav was very popular among the people and because of his rural background he was well aware of farmers problems. Born on July 1, 1973, Akhilesh had completed his engineering education from Mysore University.
With Rahul Gandhi concentrating on UP to widen the Congress base, the SP has taken the quick decision to keep its bastion intact in the state.