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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

Mulayam Singh Yadav stings son Akhilesh on pact with Mayawati, slips in an offer too

Mulayam Singh Yadav also complained that the SP had fewer tickets to distribute because of Akhilesh Yadav’s alliance with Mayawati that had halved the number of seats for each partner. As part of this pact, the BSP and SP will contest on 38 seats each.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Feb 21, 2019 15:10 IST
Pankaj Jaiswal
Pankaj Jaiswal
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Hardik Patel meets SP former national president Mulayam Singh Yadav after joint press conference with SP chief Akhilesh Yadav at party office in Lucknow
Hardik Patel meets SP former national president Mulayam Singh Yadav after joint press conference with SP chief Akhilesh Yadav at party office in Lucknow(Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)
         

Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav has never made a secret of his discomfort with son and party boss Akhilesh Yadav’s leading the party all by himself. On Thursday, he went one step forward and appeared to criticise Akhilesh Yadav for the delay in naming party candidates and question the poll pact with Mayawati.

“When I led the party, I had distributed tickets 14 month in advance. We then made the government,” said Mulayam Singh Yadav told party workers in a brief speech at the lawns of the party headquarters. He also complained

“The BJP is ahead in campaigning”, Mulayam Singh Yadav told them bluntly right at the beginning of his speech and asked Akhilesh to quickly name his party’s candidates.

If he couldn’t keep pace, the SP patriarch offered to step in.

“Look, so far, the tickets have not been decided. If he can’t decide, then ask me, I will distribute tickets,” he said.

Mulayam Singh Yadav also complained that the SP had fewer tickets to distribute because of Akhilesh Yadav’s alliance with Mayawati that had halved the number of seats for each partner. As part of this pact, the BSP and SP will contest on 38 seats each.

Also read| Uttar Pradesh, the make-or-break state, set for a thriller in Lok Sabha elections

“Look, now he has done the alliance with Mayawati…. And the seats have halved,” he said.

Naresh Uttam Patel, the party’s UP president, sat next to Mulayam Singh Yadav through the interaction.

Akhilesh Yadav, 45, was out of earshot. He had come to greet his father at the party office lawns. But he left well before his father started speaking.

Mulayam Yadav and Akhilesh’s relations have been frosty ever since the junior Yadav took control of the party more than two years ago. A riled Mulayam Yadav, 77, did not campaign for the party in the 2017 assembly elections and skips most major party events including the one where his son was re-elected as party boss in 2018.

For quite some time, he would often take jibes at his son for betraying his trust, something the ruling BJP would gleefully refer to in its attacks on Akhilesh Yadav’s party. Many in the party suggested that he had reconciled to the new realities in the party.

As he spoke about the son Akhilesh, his assessment of the political situation and the BJP, Mulayam Yadav let some of the disappointment come through when he lamented his helplessness.

“Now, I have been made patron. I can’t do anything,” he said.

Last week, he stunned his party and other opposition leaders in parliament when he heaped praises on PM Narendra Modi and went on to declare that he wanted PM Modi to become the prime minister again. SP leaders, asked to explain Mulayam Singh Yadav’s comments, have been trying hard to come up with a plausible explanation. It has been tough.

First Published: Feb 21, 2019 15:07 IST

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