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Signs of a thaw: Akhilesh calls on Mulayam after being re-elected SP president

Akhilesh Yadav sought the blessing of his father, Mulayam, who asked him to consolidate the party torn apart by a year-long family feud .

india Updated: Oct 08, 2017 14:12 IST
Pankaj Jaiswal
Pankaj Jaiswal
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Samajwadi Party,Akhilesh Yadav,Mulayam Singh Yadav
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav (centre, red cap) with colleagues at the party’s tenth national convention in Agra on October 5. Akhilesh was re-elected party president during the meet.(PTI photo)

Is the feud in the Samajwadi Party’s first family on the mend?

Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday called on his father and party patron Mulayam Singh to seek his blessings a day after he was re-elected the SP president, an event given a miss by the Yadav senior.

Mulayam, said sources, congratulated the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and asked him to consolidate the party torn apart by power struggle in the Yadav clan that pitted the father against the son.

Akhilesh, who returned to the state capital Lucknow on Saturday after the party’s national convention in Agra, spent an hour at Mulayam’s residence and briefed him about the proceedings.

After the meeting, Akhilesh also tweeted a picture with Mulayam who chose to side with his younger brother, Shivpal, as he unsuccessfully took on Akhilesh for party control in the run-up to the February-March assembly election that saw the BJP oust the SP.

“Be it Akhilesh, Azam Khan, Ramgopal (Yadav) or Naresh Agarwal, all of them hit out at Shivpal at the SP’s state convention in Lucknow on September 23. But, none of the speakers attacked Shivpal at the three-day Agra meet,” a party leader told Hindustan Times.

Akhilesh invited Mulayam to the Agra meet after he complained that neither he nor Shivpal was called for the Lucknow gathering.

Mulayam skipped Agra but he gave Akhilesh “his blessings” over the phone while Shivpal took to Twitter to congratulate Akhilesh on his re-election.

The 77-year-old party founder and patriarch has for the last many weeks blowing hot and cold on Akhilesh. The former wrestler had in a press meet in late September accused Akhilesh of betrayal but didn’t part ways, as was widely expected.

“Mulayam who was likely to float a new outfit after the state convention took a U-turn in the nick of time,” the SP leader said.

Mulayam, who has been talking about strengthening the party, could make a “significant announcement” soon, party sources said, without sharing details.

Akhilesh, in turn, could make an “honourable offer” to uncle Shivpal, the sources said.

The 44-year-old leader is expected to lead the SP into the 2019 Lok Sabha and the 2022 state elections after the party constitution was amended to give the president an extended five-year term.

First Published: Oct 08, 2017 11:04 IST