Lucknow: In a fresh twist to the ongoing turf battle in the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP), Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav wrote a letter to his father and party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday informing him that he would be setting out on the campaign trail from November 3.
In a one-page letter, copies of which were also sent to the SP national general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav and state unit chief Shivpal Singh Yadav, Akhilesh said that already a lot of time has been lost due to “some reasons” and the party can ill-afford to further delay its poll campaign for the state assembly elections scheduled for early next year.
The ‘Samajwadi Vikas Rath Yatra’ aboard a specially improvised Mercedes bus was initially scheduled for October 3, but had to be postponed after a bitter power struggle broke out in the Yadav clan, with Shivpal Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav openly caught in a battle of words.
Citing the delay and pointing out that other parties were already in poll mode, the Chief Minister said that to return to power, the campaign has to be started right away without any further delay.
Akhilesh has also written that the details of the programme would be, from time to time, informed to the district presidents of the party.
The last lines of the letter are terse — as the Chief Minister says the letter was being “humbly” sent to him for information.
Sources in the party told IANS that the Mulayam Singh Yadav camp is likely to take unkindly to the development as the party president was being intimated, and not his permission being sought.
“The public display of such brusqueness is not going to do any good to Akhilesh Yadav,” a senior party leader said.
On the other side, Akhilesh loyalists say ‘Bhaiyya ji’ was on the right track and that the party, if serious to make a comeback, had to go into election mode right away.
“We have waited for long but nothing seems to be moving, and time is fast ticking away,” a close aide of the Chief Minister said while making it amply clear that the programme chalked out had “almost nothing to do with the present leadership”. Some days back, party general secretary and Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Yadav had warned Mulayam through letter that if Akhilesh was not given the command of the poll campaign, the party was in for a drubbing.
There was a meeting between Mulayam, Shivpal and Akhilesh on Tuesday but that apparently did not end up with much positivity as the two sides stuck to their respective stands.
Akhilesh wants the party to revoke the expulsion of his close leaders and larger say in distribution of tickets for the state assembly polls, while Shivpal reportedly is of the view that growing indiscipline by the young brigade cannot be tolerated.