Why conspiring cousins Ram Gopal, Shivpal won't allow Mulayam, Akhilesh Yadav to call it truce

Early rapprochement looks distant as the main bone of contention now is the party president’s post.

 |  3-minute read |   11-01-2017
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Every time a ray of hope appears for truce between the two warring factions of the Samajwadi Party, it ends up in despair.

After a number of attempts for a patch-up between the rivals in the past few months failed, it seemed they would bury the hatchet at long last when Mulayam Singh Yadav and son Akhilesh Yadav met one-on-one on Tuesday (January 10). But even after a two-hour-long closed-door meeting at Mulayam's 5, Vikramaditya Marg residence, the conflict seemed far from over.

If insiders are to be believed, the talks began with Mulayam expressing his displeasure over the goings-on in the family-run party that has been ruling Uttar Pradesh for the past five years. Akhilesh, on the other hand, remained a patient listener to all the misgivings raised by his father.

Eventually, Mulayam came to the point and urged Akhilesh to concede the party president's post. He, however, is said to have assured Akhilesh that both Amar Singh and Shivpal Yadav would give in to his wishes — Amar Singh would resign from the party while Shivpal would step down from the state president’s position and not contest the forthcoming assembly polls.

The son, however, didn't seem amused. Instead of flatly refusing, Akhilesh chose to remain tactful by coming up with “plausible” reasons for not being in a position to abide by the senior Yadav's wishes. “I have been elected national president through a resolution passed at the party’s national convention, which was challenged by you before the election commission. How can I just step down unilaterally," he is believed to have told the father.

He also sought to point out that since 5,000 partymen have sworn individual affidavits in support of the resolution that had been challenged before the election commission, his stepping down would also entail withdrawal of each of those affidavits.

Notwithstanding the reasons cited by Akhilesh, it's evident that the Uttar Pradesh CM was unwilling to give up the coveted position he has usurped from the father even as Mulayam hoped to regain his lost crown.

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How long will this saga continue? (Credit: PTI Photo) 

Sources close to Akhilesh say that if he concedes to his father’s demands, he would lose all brownie points earned following his stand for the first time in five years since he was anointed as the CM by none other than Mulayam.

Until the recent events leading to the impasse, Akhilesh was not only known to be living under his father’s shadow but also for giving in to pressure from his uncles, something that led detractors call UP a state with “five-and-a-half chief ministers (of which Akhilesh was the half)".

Political observers are of the view that since the national president’s position has now become the main bone of contention, signs of an early rapprochement look distant. Informed sources claim that Mulayam’s inherent love for his son had on some occasions made him consider giving up his claim to the top position, but the dubious lobby led by Amar Singh dissuaded him from doing so. Likewise, Akhilesh too was apparently under the same kind of influence and pressure from his close confidante and uncle Ram Gopal Yadav not to concede to the party patriarch's wishes. Sure enough both Amar Singh and Ram Gopal Yadav have their axes to grind. Both have never played grassroots electoral politics but thrived mainly on treacherous machinations and intrigues.

Amid all the chaos, how long will this saga continue remains a million dollar question.

Also read: In the middle of cycle race, Akhilesh Yadav working out a deal with Congress, RLD?

 

Writer

Sharat Pradhan Sharat Pradhan @sharatpradhan21

The writer is a senior journalist and political analyst based in Lucknow.

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