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Samajwadi Party symbol for Akhilesh: What are Mulayam Singh Yadav’s options now?

After the legal crowning of his son Akhilesh Yadav, Samajwadi Party (SP) patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav has limited options ahead.

YadavFamilyFeud Updated: Jan 17, 2017 10:44 IST
Pankaj Jaiswal
Pankaj Jaiswal
Hindustan Times
Samajwadi Party,Akhilesh Yadav,SP symbol war
Samajwadi Party (SP) patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav along with his brother and party leader Shivpal Yadav's at his residence in Lucknow.(Ashok Dutta/HT Photo)

After the legal crowning of his son Akhilesh Yadav, Samajwadi Party (SP) patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav has limited options ahead.

The first alternative for him could be to abide by what Akhilesh Yadav announced at the national convention. Mulayam could assume the mantle of chief patron of the party and founder president, instead of being out of the party he founded.

This would mean not allowing Amar Singh to come close to the party and keeping Mulayam’s brother Shivpal in it, but as a powerless functionary.

It would also mean lending a helping hand to Akhilesh and bringing in his loyal vote bank — Muslims and Yadavs — en masse to the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.

“He should unite with Akhilesh, be the chief patron of the party, and the father figure for Akhilesh and the party, just the way Akhilesh had proposed. To me, this is the only and best option he has,” said SK Dwivedi, a political analyst and former head of the department of political science, Lucknow University.

Read | History repeating itself? Mulayam followed Lohia, Akhilesh his father

Some argue that the SP patriarch may go ahead with the threat of contesting the polls with the support of the likes of Shivpal Yadav, Shadab Fatima, Narad Rai, Om Prakash Singh and Gayatri Prasad Prajapati.

“In all probability, this move of his will ensure that he digs his own political graveyard. Instead, he should carry on his remarkable political journey and legacy with Akhilesh,” said Dwivedi.

Mulayam could also go to court against the Election Commission verdict favouring his son. However, such a move is unlikely.

“Even if he moves court, he will not be able to stall Akhilesh from going to polls with the Samajwadi Party as there is hardly any time. For decades, Netaji was ready to align with anyone who ‘would fight to defeat communal forces’. Why can’t he ally with his son for the same purpose?” asked a youth leader of the party.

According to vice-president Kiranmoy Nanda, the road ahead for Netaji is to become the ‘margdarshak’ (chief patron) of the Samajwadi Party.

Read | Akhilesh gets SP symbol cycle: How it might impact Uttar Pradesh election 2017

First Published: Jan 17, 2017 09:47 IST