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SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav rules out forming new party as of now, accuses son Akhilesh of betrayal

Mulayam Singh Yadav says he would not attend the party’s national convention in Agra on October 5.

india Updated: Sep 25, 2017 14:48 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Mulayam Singh Yadav,Samajwadi Party,Akhilesh yadav
Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav addresses a press conference at Lohia Trust in Lucknow on Monday.(Subhankar Chakraborty/HT Photo)

Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday launched a fresh attack against his son and former chief minister Akhilesh, accusing him of betrayal but didn’t announce his own outfit as was widely expected.

The 77-year-old leader, who was replaced as the SP chief by Akhilesh in the run-up to the February-March election that ended disastrously for the party, said he would not attend the party’s national convention in Agra on October 5.

“I am not forming any new party as of now,” Mulayam told a crowded press conference in Lucknow. He was responding to questions if he would part ways with the party he founded 25 years ago.

Within minutes of the press conference, Akhilesh tweeted, “Netaji zindabad, Samajwadi Party zindabad!” Party colleagues and supporters often refer to Mulayam as Netaji, or the Leader.

Sidelined in SP, the former wrestler was expected to launch a new party along with the Lok Dal but he seemed to have chosen to wait as he sent out mixed signals on his ties with Akhilesh.

Akhilesh had said he would never leave the party but he did, Mulayam said, adding his was the real Samajwadi Party.

He also accused his son of failing to keep his word to return the SP’s presidentship to him. “One who cannot keep his promises doesn’t succeed. He betrayed his father. He betrayed me,” Mulayam said.

But when asked if there was a chance of reconciliation between the two, Mulayam said, “How long can differences stay between a father and son.”

“My blessings are with him (Akhilesh Yadav) as he is my son, though I don’t agree with his decisions.”

The Yadav clan has been torn apart by a power struggle for the control of the Samajwadi Party. Mulayam chose to side with younger brother Shivpal as the feud intensified ahead of the state election in which the party was mauled by the BJP.

Shivpal, however, was not at the press meet. Mulayam said he was in Etawah-Mainpuri -- the Yadav bastion -- for some work.

Mulayam also hit out at the BJP, saying in its three years in power it had failed to deliver on its promises. Demonetisation and goods and services tax had crippled the economy, he said, urging all socialist powers to come together to take on the BJP.

First Published: Sep 25, 2017 14:34 IST