New Delhi: Expressing concern over bitter infighting in SP, Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan said the bad blood between members of the ruling family will add a dark chapter to its history. Appealing to the “pivots” of the party to consider the consequences of the conflict, he said: “They should think how historians will depict the diminishing relationship between the father and the son.
“Whatever is happening… the bad blood will add a dark chapter to the party’s history and paint a grim picture of it. I am in a state of extreme shock and pain.” In a veiled attack on Amar Singh, Khan said: “Who is responsible for this gloomy state of affairs? A single person’s conspiracy and nefarious intention have put the state up for auction.”
He urged people to have faith in the SP and asked the “kingpins” of the party to ensure that the BJP does not capture power in the state.
With SP staring at a possible split due to open rebellion by Akhilesh Yadav, party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has called a meeting tomorrow of all those allotted tickets by him even as the Chief Minister’s camp remained adamant on contesting against the official candidates of the party.
Hectic attempts were said to be underway today by Mulayam to avert a split after the crisis reached a flash point late last night when Akhilesh “circulated” his own list of 235 candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections, parallel to the party’s official list of 393 nominees.
Mulayam has convened a meeting here tomorrow of the 393 candidates who have been allotted tickets by him. Uttar Pradesh Assembly has 403 seats.
Party insiders see the meeting with immense significance as the SP chief was likely gauge the sentiments of the candidates and conduct a fresh review of the list amid fears that the battle for control in SP left the party cadres divided and highly confused at grassroots level.
This morning, Shivpal Yadav, the warring uncle of Akhilesh, met his brother Mulayam for nearly an hour, but it was not immediately known what transpired at the meeting.
Shivpal did not answer questions of reporters waiting outside Mulayam’s residence.
Mulayam’s cousin and SP General Secretary Ramgopal Yadav, who is Akhilesh supporter, asserted that there was no question of going back on the list prepared by the Chief Minister.
In an apparent attack on Shivpal, he said many in the party do not want to see Akhilesh as Chief Minister again.
“But, the fact remains that people of the state want him back as CM,” he claimed.
He said Mulayam had convened a meeting on January 1 to take a final call on ticket distribution, “but due to pressure (from Shivpal), he announced the list on December 28”.
Akhilesh’s list, which did not carry any signature, was made available on social media last night by defiant party MLAs who failed to get a ticket in the official list.
Party observers said since names of 170 to 180 candidates figured in both the lists, it would be interesting to watch if they attended the meeting convened by Mulayam or opted out.
Akhilesh, who was present at an official function here this morning, did not take questions from media persons.
Though Akhilesh loyalists were enthusiastic to fight the elections “in the name of and as the face of the CM”, it was still not clear as to whether they would fight as Independents or float a new party.
Prominent among those figuring in the list of Akhilesh are his hardcore loyalists — ministers Arvind Singh Gope, Pawan Pandey and Ram Govind Chaudhary, who were denied ticket by Mulayam. khilesh has been unhappy over the declaration of
candidates by Mulayam which included certain names to whose nomination the Chief Minister had strong reservation.
Mulayam, along with his brother and state party unit chief Shivpal, had announced the names at a hurriedly-convened press conference here on Wednesday when Akhilesh was away on a tour of Bundelkhand.
Possibilities of a rapprochement dimmed when Shivpal announced the second list of 68 candidates late last night, thereby blocking the scope for minor adjustments to avoid perhaps a showdown between father-son duo before the polls.
As the SP grappled with the unprecedented crisis, senior leader and UP minister Azam Khan voiced deep distress over the developments and said, “Bad blood between relatives has damaged the future of the state.”
He said the feud in SP was being “celebrated” by its political rivals, especially BJP.