Akhilesh goes to meet Mulayam, Azam plays peacemaker

Akhilesh Yadav

Lucknow: Amid a raging battle for supremacy in the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP), Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday morning went to meet his father and party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

According to informed sources, the move was a last minute bid to save the party from imminent split ahead of the 2017 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

The patch-up bid was brokered by state Urban Development Minister Mohd. Azam Khan, one of the founding members of the Samajwadi Party and close to the father-son duo.

Azam earlier met the SP supremo twice and apparently went to the Chief Minister with a message from the former.

Clearly unhappy with Akhilesh, Mulayam reportedly told Azam to communicate to the Chief Minister to fall in line and not breach party discipline as it would do him no good.

On Friday, while expelling Akhilesh and his cousin Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years on charges of “indiscipline and anti-party activities”, Mulayam Singh Yadav lamented that the Chief Minister was spoiling his political career by getting carried away in a conspiracy hatched by Ram Gopal.

Earlier in the day, Akhilesh met more than 170 SP legislators at his 5, Kalidas Marg, official residence here and told them that while he has been expelled from the Samajwadi Party, “no one can separate me from my father”.

The Chief Minister is learnt to have got emotional during the speech and heard out the party MLAs about the political developments in Uttar Pradesh.

Akhilesh has urged his supporters to remain calm and not indulge in any hasty actions.

Meanwhile, two Samajwadi Party workers sustained burn injuries late on Friday night when they allegedly attempted self-immolation in support of Akhilesh Yadav.

They doused themselves in kerosene outside 5, Kalidas Marg, and set themselves afire even before security personnel deployed at the Chief Minister’s residence could react.

Both — Rahul Singh and Satyendra Tiwari — were admitted to the Cvivil hospital where their condition is stated to be but out of danger.

“They have sustained burn injuries on their hands, legs and chest and are being treated,” a police official told IANS.

Rahul Singh was earlier Vice-President of SP Chatra Sabha, but was sacked recently by SP state unit President Shivpal Singh Yadav.

Several supporters of Akhilesh were also seen weeping in public, some even torched posters of Shivpal Yadav and Amar Singh.