Upstaging Mulayam Singh Yadav, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday was anointed the SP president in place of his father at a party national convention here which also proposed the expulsion of “outsider” Amar Singh and removal of Shivpal Yadav from the post of UP chief.
After a brief truce in the ruling Samajwadi Party on Saturday, the open war in the party was all out in the open with the national convention declaring Akhilesh Yadav as party president.
The proposal was met with a huge applause by party cadres gathered at the sprawling Janeshwar Misra Park amid chilly conditions.
Ram Gopal also moved a proposal to make Mulayam Singh, the founder president of the party, as party patron and removing Shivpal Singh Yadav from the state unit post.
Earlier this morning as soon as the national convention got underway at the Janeshwar Misra park, Mulayam Singh issued a letter declaring the convention as unconstitutional.
“Today a so-called convention has been convened by Ram Gopal. This is against party constitution and discipline. This has been convened to damage the party,” Yadav said in the letter.
Although Mulayam warned that participation in the convention will be taken as indiscipline and action will be initiated against those attending it, almost all the senior leaders who had been longtime associates of Mulayam shared dias with Ram Gopal and Akhilesh.
Soon after being proposed as the national president of the party, Akhilesh Yadav said his respect for his father was more than ever and that he would stand against those conspiring against the party.
“Those who conspired against the party, damaged it and also posed problems before the national president…should know that my respect for the national president (Mulayam Singh) will be more than before,” the chief minister said.
“…People might raise questions and level allegations but I said this before and say it again that as his son if there is any conspiracy against the party and him it is my duty to stand against them”, he said.
“I had said that I was ready to step down as state unit president earlier too …he had made me the CM and gave me a chance to work…”, he said.
The national convention also authorised Akhilesh Yadav to constitute national executive, parliamentary board and various state units as required and inform the Election Commission of the developments at the earliest.
The new developments are likely to be taken up at the parliamentary board meeting convened by Mulayam later on Sunday.
The chief minister said, “All want that SP comes back to power but there are some who do not want this… Netaji would be most elated if the party forms the next government…I have been given the responsibility to make the next government on one more time”.
“Netaji’s respect and position is supreme for us …
these three-four months are very important….don’t know who all can come together and force certain decisions”, Akhilesh said.
In his address at the convention, Ram Gopal said that all were aware that the government was working well but two persons conspired and got Akhilesh removed from the state president’s post and posed a big problem in the party.
Blaming Shivpal Singh Yadav for working in an “arbitrary” manner, he said tickets were given to those who were not even members of the party and several leaders were expelled.
“State unit president gave tickets to those who were not even members of the party …despite directives from the national president, the state unit president did not revoke the suspension of those shown the door..it is clear that some people do no want the SP return to power and that Akhilesh become the chief minister again,” he said.
When the problems became insurmountable, the party workers gave him a request in writing to convene an emergency convention and he waited for two months before convening today’s meeting, he said.
Yesterday, making a dramatic U-turn, Samajwadi Party revoked the expulsion of Akhilesh Yadav and Ramgopal Yadav after a massive show of strength by the chief minister who convened a meeting of SP legislators where over 200 of the 229 party MLAs turned up expressing their loyalty.
(With inputs from PTI)