Voices of dissent in SP after party’s rout in UP polls

Lucknow: With Akhilesh Yadav’s experiments at the hustings backfiring, voices of dissent have started surfacing in the SP with some leaders demanding that the old order under party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav be restored.

The Samajwadi Party could manage only 47 seats, 177 down from its 2012 tally of 224 seats.
Party leaders, specially the ones who have been close to Mulayam Singh and Shivpal Singh, want Akhilesh Yadav to hand over the reins of the party to his father.

“Akhileshji had asked for control of the party only till elections, citing them as his exam and now that he has failed in it he should hand over the leadership to Netaji,” a senior party leader said on condition of anonymity.

Despite reservations expressed by his father, Akhilesh had gone ahead with a pre-poll alliance with the Congress with an aim of undoing the damage caused to the party’s public image after the long-run family feud.

Akhilesh felt that Congress could help it consolidate the crucial Muslim vote, which accounts for over 18 per cent of the population and check the march of BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It was also Akhilesh who shunned the mafias and criminal elements and played the development card to the hilt, assuming that the electorate specially youth will fall for it.

“We had taken care of the party after big reverses in the wake of Ayodhya movement and we can do it once again … we also promise to take care of Akhilesh’s future”, he said adding that the party should be allowed to work in the directions and guidance of netaji.

Former SP spokesman and founder member of the party CP Rai said those who have won the elections for the party are mostly the ones who had been given tickets by Mulayam Singh and Shivpal Yadav.

“Barring the two or three candidates all those who have won are those who had been picked up by Netaji and Shivpalji … ticket distribution was also an issue of contention …Shivpal won the seat comfortably even though all out efforts were made to stop his march to the vidhan sabha,” Rai said.

“The SP patron’s rally in Jaunpur for Parasnath Yadav helped him win the seat despite the fact that he was not comfortably placed earlier…this goes on to prove the hold of Mulayam Singh,” Rai said.

The party, however, lost the Lucknow Cantt seat where the former SP chief addressed a rally for his daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav but the party had no base, Rai said.

Another SP leader Madhukar Jaitely also aired similar views demanding more power to party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav.

“Mulayam’s honour should be restored. He wanted to campaign for the party… the happenings in the party in past six months were also the reason of party’s defeat,” Jaitley said.

Specially critical of Ram Gopal Yadav, Rai said that he had emereged as the ‘Chanakya’ in the party and he needs to follow what he had been preaching .

“Either he should atone for his wrongdoings or the party should give him the same treatment that he used to give others and both he and Akhilesh should own up for the loss”, Rai said.

Party insiders said that after every defeat, Ram Gopal used to seek the records booth-wise and “harass” those on whose booths the performance of the party was not upto the mark.

Recalling the allegation of Mulayam Singh that Ram Gopal is hand-in-glove with the BJP and is ruining the future of Akhilesh Yadav, Rai said poll results have given more strength to these doubts.