Lucknow, Sep 25 : Amid existential crisis of Samajwadi Party following the recent electoral debacles, party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav is keen to build bridges with separated party leaders while the continuing defiance of his son and party president Akhilesh Yadav remains the biggest stumbling block for the seniors back to the party fold.
Mulayam is also keen for an early home coming of his brother Shivpal Yadav to the party, who has floated his own political party. Shivpal Singh Yadav refused to return back in the party fold even after invitation given by Akhilesh Yadav to him to rejoin the party and announced to withdraw the petition filed in the assembly for his disqualification from the membership as SP member recently.
SP has been going steadily downhill ever since Akhilesh Yadav took over as chief minister in 2017 and party president in January 2017. Its tally in Lok Sabha was reduced five seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and then got decimated in the 2017 UP Assembly elections. The party ended with 47 seats in the 403 member house even though Akhilesh Yadav had forged an alliance with the Congress. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the SP joined hands with the BSP, but the tie-up fell apart after SP ended up with only five seats.
Samajwadi party sources said here on Wednesday that, Mulayam Singh Yadav is upset with what the party -- which once ruled Uttar Pradesh for several terms -- has been reduced to pale shadow of its past. He has been repeatedly asking Akhilesh to get his act together and build bridges with estranged leaders -- most importantly, uncle Shivpal Yadav, who was one of the main architects of the party.
Mulayam Singh Yadav has also been trying to convince Shivpal Yadav for a homecoming. Shivpal, who had floated his Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia (PSPL), last year after his break-up with Akhilesh, has also not been able to make his mark in state politics. "Shivpal is a grassroots leader, while Akhilesh hardly ever ventures out of Lucknow.
"Inflated ego of Akhilesh Yadav is a major roadblock in the patch-up. Mulayam Singh is keen to set things back on track but Akhilesh does not want any senior, including his uncle, back," said a senior party leader.
At a recent press conference, Akhilesh declared that his "doors are open for all and all are welcome". This sent a section of the media into a spin which predicted that a merger of the SP and the PSPL was on the cards.
The Samajwadi Party sources said Akhilesh's cousin and former MP Dharmendra Yadav is now on a mission to broker peace between the SP chief and his uncle. "The main problem is that Akhilesh is not willing to concede important post in the party to Shivpal Yadav, who on the other hand will not settle anything for less than number two role in the party.
A petition filed by the SP to the UP Assembly Speaker seeking Shivpal's disqualification from the membership of the assembly under the anti-defection law has added insult to injury," said a party leader. With the SP in disarray, its leaders are worried about the Yadav votes, which may cross over to the BJP damaging the party further. The BJP is already building up Yadav leaders and is focusing on the community for the 2022 Assembly polls.(UNI)