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Published On: Thu, Oct 5th, 2017

Akhilesh Yadav re-elected as Samajwadi Party chief for 5 years

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AKHILESHAGRA: Akhilesh Yadav was today unanimously re-elected as the Samajwadi Party’s national president for a five-year term, further consolidating his grip over the party after sidelining his father Mulayam Singh Yadav and uncle Shivpal Yadav. His re-election was announced by senior SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav at the SP national convention here. The party’s constitution was amended to extend the tenure of the party chief to five years from the existing three years.

Akhilesh, 44, will lead the party during the Lok Sabha elections of 2019 and the state Assembly election scheduled in 2022.  A day before his re-election as the Samajwadi Party president, Akhilesh’s estranged uncle Shivpal Yadav had called and congratulated him. “I got the benefit of my age and our relation. He gave me blessings and congratulated me,” said Akhilesh.  The Samajwadi Party was engaged in a bitter family battle between father Mulayam Singh Yadav and son Akhilesh ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election.
Akhilesh Yadav had convened the party’s national convention and removed father Mulayam as Samajwadi Party president after the latter expelled him and uncle Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years due to alleged indiscipline. Both Mulayam and Shivpal gave a miss to the SP event just as they had stayed away from the state executive meeting of the party in Lucknow on September 23. Akhilesh had personally invited his father for the national convention.

In his address the former UP chief minister said, “I requested ‘netaji’ (Mulayam) to attend the convention. Everyone would have liked it (his presence). “I talked to him yesterday and today also before coming to the convention. I told him that it is a big convention and amendments in the party constitution will also be passed and without your blessings the party cannot progress,” he said.

Akhilesh said Mulayam, “has given blessings to all of us” over phone and wished that the party is strengthened in UP and throughout the country. Apparently to send a message of all-is-well in the Yadav clan, Akhilesh had yesterday said that his estranged uncle Shivpal blessed and congratulated him over telephone.
The fissures in the father-son relationship, however, remain as Mulayam Singh was conspicuously missing from the scene before the key party convention despite Akhilesh personally inviting him for the meet. The Samajwadi Party patriarch and brother Shivpal had earlier skipped the party’s state executive meeting in Lucknow on September 23. While Akhilesh Yadav has maintained that he enjoys his father Mulayam’s blessings, the latter had recently put a lid to speculations on forming a separate political party with brother Shivpal.
At a press conference ahead of his re-elected as Samajwadi Party president, Akhilesh Yadav said the party’s alliance with the Congress will continue. “Our friendship will remain,” Akhilesh said despite the alliance’s poor show in the Assembly election earlier this year.

The key Lok Sabha by-elections to be held in Gorakhpur and Phulpur (the seats vacated by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya) will give the SP a chance to gauge which way the wind is blowing months after it faced a rout in the Assembly polls. Akhilesh has already said if results of the elections were in “our favour, it will give a message not only for the 2019 (Lok Sabha polls), but also for the 2022 (assembly polls).

Exhorting party workers to strengthen the organisation, Akhilesh today said the SP should emerge as a big force in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
(With Agency Inputs ).

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