After LS poll results, Akhilesh dissolves SP’s UP executives
Samajwadi Party (SP) national president Akhilesh Yadav on Friday dissolved the state and district executives of the party, a move that is seen as a course correction in the organisation following the SP’s Lok Sabha poll debacle.
He also disbanded the youth organisations of the party, including the student body and the women’s organisation. The national and state presidents of all the cells were also removed.
In a press statement, Akhilesh Yadav said the state and district executives of the party had been dissolved. However, state president Naresh Uttam Patel will continue in his post, he added.
In the April-May Lok Sabha polls, the SP won just five seats — the same as in 2014 — despite stitching a pre-poll alliance with the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).
The tie-up benefitted BSP, which bagged 10 seats in the state — it drew a blank in 2014 general polls.
Both Akhilesh Yadav and SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav met party leaders and office bearers in the SP state unit office on Thursday. Addressing media persons, Akhilesh said, “The overhaul of the organization was a routine process”.
A senior party leader said on the condition of anonymity that Akhilesh took the decision to rejig the party in view of the upcoming electoral battle — 13 assembly bypolls due later this year and 2022 assembly elections. “The new committees will be constituted soon. Young, committed and hardworking leaders will be made in-charge of the youth wings, district and state executives,” he said.
The move comes a few days after the party’s three Rajya Sabha MPs — Neeraj Shekhar, Surendra Singh Nagar, and Sanjay Seth — crossed over to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
Just a day after the Lok Sabha results were declared, the party chief had sacked the panel of leaders appointed as spokespersons for television debates.
“After the LS polls, party president Akhilesh Yadav has been meeting people and taking feedbacks from party workers and office-bearers. After going through all the aspects, the party executives will be reorganised with new ‘josh’ (enthusiasm) to take on the BJP,” party chief spokesman Rajendra Chowdhury was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Akhilesh faced criticism for his decision to join hands with arch rival BSP chief Mayawati for the Lok Sabha elections, in which the SP vote share dipped from 22.35% (2014) to 17.96% (2019).
Akhilesh had taken over the reins of the party in January 2017 after a tussle with his uncle Shivpal Yadav.
The Lok Sabha election debacle for the Samajawadi Party is the second instance when Akhilesh Yadav has miscalculated his move.
He had tried his hand at coalition-building in Uttar Pradesh in the 2017 assembly elections as well, teaming up with the Congress. His father and party’s founding leader Mulayam Singh Yadav had advised him against the move. He was ignored.
The SP-Congress alliance failed miserably and BJP’s Yogi Adityanath replaced Akhilesh Yadav as Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
(PTI contributed to this story)