Battle for supremacy between Akhilesh and Shivpal factions has intensified after the party’s crushing defeat in the UP assembly elections earlier this year
Amid continuing internal feud within the Samajwadi Party, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, on Saturday, took a fresh jibe at his uncle Shivpal Yadav, cautioning supporters against “fake Samajwadis”.
Addressing party members at the 8th state convocation of Samajwadi Party at Ramabai Ambedkar Ground in Lucknow, Akhilesh Yadav asked workers and leaders to realize their responsibilities ahead of the Lok Sabha bypolls in Gorakhpur and Phulpur.
Signaling a renewed strain in the party’s high ranks, Akhilesh said, “Beware of ‘banawti’ (fake) Samajwadis. They have tried to stop the Samajwadi movement many times in the past. They succeeded in one conspiracy as a result of which we could not form government in the state.”
The continuing battle for supremacy between Akhilesh and his uncle, Shivpal, seems to have intensified after the party’s humiliating defeat in the UP assembly elections held earlier this year. Recently, in the run up to the party’s state and national convention, SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav had removed Akhilesh-loyalist Ram Gopal Yadav from the post of the secretary of the Lohia Trust and replaced him with Shivpal Yadav.
However, clearly stating his support towards his father Mulayam, Akhilesh said, “I want to say that ‘netaji’ (Mulayam) is my father and his blessings will always be with me. We will take forward this andolan (movement).”
Also speaking at the convention, party leader Azam Khan said, “There were few people who have betrayed us in the past, and it is because of them that the ruling party came to power. I would also request all of you to maintain brotherhood as people in power (BJP) want to spread communal tension before 2019 polls.”
Akhilesh hit out at the Modi government, saying, “Development is not the core agenda of BJP, I am sure they will bring some new distraction just before the elections. The BJP government in state and Centre has betrayed farmers by not fulfilling the promises made to them before elections.”
Criticizing the government over the recent inauguration of the Lucknow Metro, the former UP CM said, “They (BJP) claim that the Lucknow Metro was the dream project of PM Modi. I challenge them to run the Metro in Varanasi (Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency) at least. The BJP will not run Metro in any of the cities in Uttar Pradesh during their regime.”
While the Samajwadi Party convention was attended by senior party leaders Ram Gopal Yadav, Azam Khan, Ram Govind Chowdhury and over 15,000 workers from across UP, party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and his brother Shivpal were conspicuous by their absence.