Agitated with SP-Congress alliance, Mulayam asks supporters to contest as independent
According to sources, Mulayam has even decided to campaign against Congress for SP candidates who were denied tickets by the party president and CM Akhilesh Yadav.
SP founder feels that Rahul Gandhi, who had 'praised' Mayawati during a SP-Congress joint press conference in Lucknow, may join hands with the BSP after the elections.
Voicing displeasure over the alliance, Mulayam on Sunday has asked his supporters "to raise an aggressive movement against" the party's alliance with the Congress.
This alliance was made against my wish. The Samajwadi Party was in a position to form the government on its own. But Akhilesh Yadavji has taken a wrong decision," the party patriarch told the media.
"My question is where will the leaders of the party be adjusted if they are deprived of election tickets," he said, expressing regret that Akhilesh had tried to "finish the careers of many Samajwadi Party leaders".
"What will those leaders do for the next five years if they are not given tickets? He (Akhilesh) is spoiling their life. I will not campaign for this alliance," Mulayam said.
"I would ask my supporters to campaign aggressively against this pre-poll coalition."
Reminded that chief minister Akhilesh Yadav is his son, Mulayam said: "Relationships are a different issue. But many leaders in the Samajwadi Party have been sidelined."
Mulayam said he has fought the Congress in the past and this was why he was not in favour of the alliance.
Akhilesh had told a joint media conference he addressed with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi that he has the blessings of his father. "I have his blessings and that is enough to win this election," the chief minister said.
Mulayam's pictures figure alongside Akhilesh's on most of Samajwadi banners and posters.
The son had replaced his father as the party's national president at a convention in Lucknow on January 1, after a long tussle for power within the family that saw Akhilesh and Mulayam's cousin Ram Gopal Yadav on one side and Mulayam, his brother Shivpal and confidant Amar Singh on the other side.
The resolution to replace Mulayam with Akhilesh as the party chief was passed by a show of hands at the convention. Mulayam was elected patron of the party, Shivpal was removed from the post of state party president, and Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh was suspended from the party.
The Election Commission recognised the Akhilesh faction as the real Samajwadi Party and ruled on January 17 that the party symbol - cycle - would remain with Akhilesh.
After that, Mulayam handed Akhilesh a list of 38 candidates he wanted the party to field, choosing not to contest the election separately.
Mulayam yesterday claimed that the verdict of 2012 was for him and regretted that he gave the chief minister's chair to his son.
"People had voted for the Samajwadi Party because they wanted to see me as chief minister. But I preferred to give this responsibility to Akhilesh," said Mulayam, who has served as chief minister thrice.
(With inputs from The Telegraph Calcutta)
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