WION Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
Jan 10, 2017, 11.10 AM
Reconciliation efforts in the Yadav clan seem to be gaining pace, with chief minister Akhilesh Yadav meeting his father and Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday.
After a ninety minute long meeting between the two on Tuesday morning, Mulayam Singh assured that his son, Akhilesh Yadav will be the chief ministerial face of the party in the upcoming state assembly election.
“For the benefit of the entire state, our party stands united. There is no question of any division whatsoever… we will begin campaigning soon. Akhilesh will be the next chief minister, there is no doubt about that,” he said.
According to sources in the Mulayam camp, the SP patriarch reportedly maintained that he will remain the party`s national president.
He has also urged Akhilesh to withdraw the letter he had sent to the Election Commission (EC) claiming support of 212 out of 229 MLAs.
Mulayam Singh`s confidante Shivpal Yadav and close aide Amar Singh were not present at the meeting, reports ANI.
The SP has been battling a damaging power struggle between Akhilesh and his uncle Shivpal, the younger brother of Mulayam, for months.
Matters came to a head on the New Year’s Day when Akhilesh ousted Mulayam to take over as the SP chief at an “emergency party meeting” called by Ramgopal.
On Monday, Ramgopal asked the poll panel to expedite the verification of the affidavits of support submitted by their camp so that a decision on the party symbol could be taken at the earliest.
The two leaders had separate meetings with the EC over who should be awarded the party’s cycle symbol.
The EC is yet to pronounce its ruling.
The state of Uttar Pradesh goes to polls on February 11, in a seven-phase election that concludes on March 8.
The SP is hoping to retain power in what is likely to be a fiercely contested election come February.