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Mulayam volte face stuns Shivpal camp 

Samajwadi Party (SP) patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav changed the script at the eleventh hour and did not announce the formation of a new party on Monday, sending shock waves in his brother Shivpal Yadav camp.

lucknow Updated: Sep 26, 2017 17:46 IST
Pankaj Jaiswal
Pankaj Jaiswal
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Mulayam Singh Yadav,Samajwadi Party,Shivpal Yadav
A Samajwadi Party (SP) worker passes by a hoarding featuring Mulayam’s blessings for his son Akhilesh Yadav. Many such hoardings were installed by SP for its 8th state convention held in Lucknow on Saturday. (Pankaj Jaiswal/HT Photo)

Samajwadi Party (SP) patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav changed the script at the eleventh hour and did not announce the formation of a new party on Monday, sending shock waves in his brother Shivpal Yadav camp.

Shivpal wants to form a new party or a front with Mulayam’s support and Mulayam was all set to read a script penned by the Shivpal camp on Monday. Instead, he came to the press conference armed with his own three-page statement. "I will read this out," he said ignoring a piece of paper forwarded by Sharda Pratap Shukla, a senior leader. "Will read that later," he told him.

Once through reading his statement, Mulayam told reporters, "I am not forming any party."Mulayam was holding a press conference at the Lohia Trust office in Lucknow.

Minutes after Mulayam’s statement that he will not form a new party, Akhilesh Yadav tweeted: "Netaji zindabad, Samajwadi Party zindabad".

Shivpal Yadav, who was to attend the press conference did not reach there. He reportedly also cancelled the 2 pm press conference that he was likely to address at the same venue .

Mulayam did criticise Akhilesh Yadav and called him a betrayer. But at the same time said: "How long can differences survive between a father and son?"

The veteran leader also ducked the question on who would he chose -- Shivpal or Akhilesh?

The night before, it was almost certain that Mulayam will announce a new party. Lok Dal president Sunil Singh too was invited to the press conference as it was expected that Mulayam will take over the Lok Dal. But Sunil Singh too did not attend the press conference.

The Shivpal camp supporters eagerly anticipated an announcement about the new party. A bunch of them even shouted slogans outside the venue. But all went quiet once Mulayam cleared the air.

Sources quoting the original press note, a portion of which also got leaked at the press conference, said, "The page had an announcement about the formation of a new party. Netaji was to read out: ‘I have unnecessarily been going through humiliation for the last one year. They did not invite me to the state convention, while it was I who founded the party in 1992. Despite humiliation, I tried my level best to keep the party one. But now respecting the sentiments of party workers, I have decided to form a party in which I will include like-minded people to make a new political path, the outline of which will soon be laid down."

The protracted Yadav family feud has been going on since August last. The power struggle within the SP has split the Yadav family with the patriarch Mulayam siding with his brother Shivpal much to the chagrin of his son Akhilesh. On January 1 this year, an emergency session of the party announced Akhilesh Yadav as the national president replacing Mulayam.

First Published: Sep 26, 2017 17:37 IST