Having won a long battle for control of the party, chief minister and Samajwadi Party national president Akhilesh Yadav on Monday once again referred to expelled Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh as uncle, a term he had vowed not to use again for the Rajya Sabha member at the height of the SP feud three months ago.
Akhilesh Yadav was speaking at a conclave organised by a Hindi television channel.
He refused to accept that Amar Singh had said on Sunday he was a stray bull and free to graze anywhere as he had been expelled from the Samajwadi Party.
Akhilesh said: "No. He cannot say this. He had been good. I know him well. He cannot say such a thing. You will see that he will love us all."
It was Akhilesh Yadav’s first public speaking engagement since he took over as the national president of the party.
Replying to a series of questions with his inimitable humour, he said if such questions (uncomfortable ones) were asked, "I will start reading the party manifesto that I have brought with me."
Asked whether Mulayam Singh Yadav's anger was real, Akhilesh Yadav said: “Netaji is a Samajwadi. He expresses his anger in public and private alike. He is the leader of us all. Those he trusts have a responsibility to tell him the truth.”
On what he thought about his father Mulayam's anger with him, he said: "I have been wondering, will I ever get this angry with my son."
Asked whether he would consider re-connecting Shivpal Yadav to the party again, Yadav said: "So far, as my relationship with him as Chacha-Bhatija is concerned, it will never break. But when it comes to politics, I must say that I too have principles. Now, I have put it (feud) behind and am looking only towards polls and the campaign. I have to get the support of even those who have been denied tickets."
Asked whether talking about development will make him win the elections: "Yes, it will. It is time for aspirational politics. Those who sell dreams, but don't fulfil them will be losers. Why will people not vote for life changing promises that we are making? Why will a woman not vote for us if we make her life easy by giving her a pressure cooker? Anyone who travels on the Agra-Lucknow expressway will vote for us. All those who got laptops, or those whose life is saved because of 108 ambulances, or those who will soon travel on the Metro train, will vote for us."
On the exodus from the party, he said: "Those who are leaving will have to come back."
Asked what he thought about fighting and defeating his father and uncle: "Since childhood, I never fought. I have been a sportsperson. Whichever game I play, I play well."
On taking over the party that his father Mulayam made and nurtured for 25 years: "The party is his. It has the same principle that netaji had founded it on. I only tweaked and upgraded his socialism with the changing times. Socialism means bridging the gaps. Bridging the digital divide between urban and rural, rich and poor is socialism."
On why he was bringing the election manifesto again and again: "I have crammed it. After all, I have to speak this daily for one month."
On the SP-Congress alliance, he said: “I am reiterating we will get a full majority on our own and, with the Congress, we will cross 300 seats.”