All the push and the pull; all the dilly-dallying, terminations and reinstatements... hope for a truce - but adamant posturing has finally brought the Samajwadi Party back to square one.
Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, unlike what is commonly believed, did not budge an inch from his stand. Just like his son, Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav, who, basking in the warmth of majority support within the party, is following his own line and refusing to concede to his father.
Not surprisingly, during the recent press conference held by Mulayam in Delhi, he was flanked by the two eyesores of Akhilesh - his uncle Shivpal Yadav and Mulayam's close aide Amar Singh.
Amar had earlier in the day called himself and Shivpal as the two hands of the SP patriarch.
Mulayam's preference to the two so-called Man Fridays Amar and Shivpal was evident and this set the stage for the final showdown in the ugly conglict within the Yadav family.
Mulayam pronounced it clearly on Sunday that he continues to be SP president, whereas Shivpal continues to be state president and Akhilesh the CM.
He rubbished the emergency conclave called by his cousin Ram Gopal Yadav on January 1, in which Shivpal was relieved of his duties, Amar was ousted and Akhilesh replaced Mulayam as national president.
After the conclave, much politicking sent signals of a possible truce. Akhilesh, on the behest of peacemaker Azam Khan, even paid a visit to his then ailing father and talks of a truce were made public.
|Mulayam Singh Yadav's close aide Amar Singh.|
In the last few days, supporters rushed to Akhilesh and pledged allegiance to him in signed affidavits. Those loyal to Mulayam, though far less in number, met him in Lucknow. Expectations ran high when Shivpal called on Akhilesh at his official residence, unannounced, giving rise to speculations of a truce.
Earlier on Sunday, Mulayam said while leaving for Delhi that the Yadav family was one and that there was no division.
But now, Amar has questioned the authenticity of the signatures on Akhilesh supporters' affidavits submitted to the Election Commission by Ram Gopal on Saturday.
The commission will need some time to decide whether the SP symbol of the cycle can be allotted to one of the warring factions or needs to be frozen.
That may take months, and in the meantime, the situation seems to have gone back to square one in the party with no stalemate in sight.
Points of difference in the two Yadav camps:
1) Amar was on Mulayam's side whereas the Akhilesh faction ousted him from the party.
2) Mulayam still claims he is the SP president whereas on January 1 it was announced that Akhilesh had replaced him.
3) Mulayam is still saying that Shivpal is the party's UP president, but Akhilesh faction has replaced him with Naresh Uttam.
4) Mulayam is trying to assert that he controls the party while the Akhilesh camp is asserting their majority support.
5) Differences exist on the fate of Ram Gopal Yadav - Mulayam says he is out of the party whereas he is Akhilesh's trusted man.
6) There is no consensus on distribution of tickets... and the lists of Mulayam and Akhilesh still differ.
7) The Mulayam camp is adamant on having no ties with the Congress, whereas Akhilesh has moved close to cobbling a tie-up.
The many differences seem to have brought the warring SP factions to the point of no return, and that may well be the turning point in the politics of Uttar Pradesh.