SP national meet after Akhilesh govt completes 6 months
The Samajwadi Party's postponed Kolkata national meeting is likely to be held after the Akhilesh Yadav government completes six months in office in UP on September 15.
As of now, the meeting is likely anytime after September 20 and before Diwali.
Aimed to gear up the party for the Lok Sabha election, the meeting was originally slated for July 10-11. It was postponed with the indication that it would be held in August after the Presidential election.
"Now, there is less than a month for the government to complete six months in office. Netaji (the party's national president Mulayam Singh Yadav) would not like any big event before that. He had asked people and the party to give six months to Akhilesh and his ministers to prove themselves. The focus is on this deadline now," said a party source.
"As the national meeting would be an important one, it cannot be held when the attention is on other matters. The meeting was postponed earlier because the party realised that the dates were too close to the Presidential election," the source added.
Another party source confirmed that Mulayam had already said that the meet would be held in Kolkata only.
It is at the national meet that the party would decide in how many states, other than UP, it would contest the 2014 Lok Sabha election. It would also decide where it would go it alone and where it would tie up with others. The party is looking to gain its strongest-ever position in national politics through the 2014 elections.
With 21 MPs, all from UP, the SP is the third largest party in the Lok Sabha.
"Netaji said winning 60 seats in the parliamentary elections would put the party in a formidable position at the centre. To reach that figure, the party is looking for some seats outside UP. This would be an important issue of discussion at the national meet," said a senior party leader in Lucknow. Along with UP, it is certain the SP would contest the election in all the other states where it has MLAs. It has three MLAs in Maharashtra, two in Bihar and one each in West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh.
It would also contest Lok Sabha elections in Gujarat, a state in which it plans to field over 50 candidates for the assembly election slated for later this year. Kolkata has hosted three national executive meetings of the Samajwadi Party in 1993, 1996 and 2010.