Lucknow | Acrimony, bitter exchanges and personal attacks on Monday marked a meeting of Samajwadi Party leaders, bringing to the fore the high-voltage power struggle in the first family with Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav trading barbs while the chief minister was accused of planning to float a party, a charge he denied.
Cut up with his son, Mulayam Singh Yadav put up a strong defence of his brother Shivpal Yadav, who was sacked by Akhilesh yesterday from his cabinet, and General Secretary Amar Singh but ruled out replacing the chief minister, who offered to quit.
The political drama was also punctuated by clashes between rival factions outside and inside the venue and after the abrupt end to the meeting of the legislators, MPs and ministers.
Seeking to put at rest speculation, Akhilesh ruled out forming any new party and offered to step down if Mulayam Singh Yadav wanted.
With his father and uncle watching, he broke down while addressing the meeting.
“Let ‘netaji’ install a chief minister who he feels is honest,” he said.
“Why should I form a new party?” he posed in an emotionally choked voice.
At the meeting Akhilesh said all these years he had toiled hard for the welfare of the people.
“Merey pita, merey guru hain (my father is my guru)” he said.
The Chief Minister said many people were trying to create divisions within his family using various machinations and that he had taught himself how to oppose any wrong doing.
Tension was palpable much before the meeting began with youth supporters of Akhilesh mounting pressure on the leadership in support of the chief minister.
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