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SP feud: Hectic efforts at reconciliation; Shivpal meets UP CM

Lucknow: Reconciliation efforts in the Yadav clan seemed to be gaining pace on Saturday, with Shivpal meeting Akhilesh for the first one-on-one between the warring uncle and nephew since the split in Samajwadi Party (SP) last Sunday, even as the Chief Minister’s camp claimed to have “signed” support of 212 of the 229 party MLAs.

Meanwhile, SP MP Amar Singh, whose return to the party recently after six years was one of the reasons for discord between Mulayam and son Akhilesh, said he was in favour of a patch-up between the father and the son and that he was not a “hurdle” in the path of the Chief Minister.

Shivpal went to the residence of Akhilesh on Saturday morning, after which he met his brother Mulayam, reflecting hectic efforts at reconciliation.

Party insiders were tight-lipped on what transpired during the brief meeting between the uncle and the nephew who have been at loggerheads for months now.

However, sources privy to the fast-paced developments did not rule out the possibility of resignation of Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh, the “outsider” whose return to SP triggered a storm in the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh, under a “compromise formula”.

Another possibility could be resignation of Shivpal from the post of state SP chief, a charge held by the chief minister before the current family feud broke out.

It was the first one-on-one meeting between Akhilesh and Shivpal since the Chief Minister donned the mantle of SP ‘president’ replacing his father Mulayam.

Shivpal had last met Akhilesh at Mulayam’s residence on Tuesday when the Chief Minister had gone to meet his father.

Saturday’s meetings came even as the Akhilesh camp prepared to hand over documents to the EC to claim that it was the “real” SP.

Akhilesh’s supporter uncle Ramgopal Yadav claimed they have collected signatures of 212 of the 229 MLAs, 56 of the 68 MLCs, 15 of the 24 MPs and a majority of the 5,000 delegates, “making it crystal clear as to which was the real SP”.

An inkling of a patch-up effort came late last night when Akhilesh planned to go to the airport here to receive his father who was returning from Delhi. He, however, dropped the idea when he came to know that Amar Singh was accompanying him in the chartered flight.

Soon after Mulayam’s return from Delhi, his apolitical brothers Abhayram Yadav and Rajpal Yadav met him apparently to end the strife in the family.

During a meeting with SP MLAs, MLCs, MPs and senior leaders to collect their signed affidavits for submission before the EC, Akhilesh had yesterday asked his father to give him Samajwadi Party’s control for three months.

Shivpal’s sudden meeting with Akhilesh came at a time when the chief minister was busy rebuilding his party by appointing district heads replacing those installed by his uncle Shivpal after dumping his loyalists.

Amar Singh, meanwhile, indirectly blamed Ramgopal for the vertical split in the party, saying “Whatever is happening in the party is not because of me but because of a supporter of Akhilesh.”

He said he favours a patch-up between the two factions. “One gets hurt by one’s own and not by outsiders. It’s difficult to fight own people.”

PTI