(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav made a passionate pitch to his supporters and party workers yesterday and said while some forces were out to split the party, he was doing everything to ensure it did not happen.
'This party has emerged out of a lot of labour, hard work and struggle of party workers and its founding leaders; I will neither allow it to disintegrate nor the party symbol to go, Mulayam told an unscheduled interaction with workers at the party office at Vikramaditya Marg here.
Appearing resigned to the fate of an imminent split in the party he formed 25 years ago, Mulayam Singh also said he has given everything to the party and that he was left with nothing.
'I have given everything to the party and everyone should accept that the party has reached here after much struggle, he said in an emotive tone even as his supporters raised slogans in his favour.
He stated how he had gone to jail during the Emergency when Akhilesh Yadav, his son and Uttar Pradesh chief minister, was a boy. He also mentioned how Shivpal Singh Yadav, his younger brother, who was seated next to him, would bring food for him to the prison during his period of incarceration and later hide it at various places.
Targeting his cousin Ram Gopal Yadav, who is mentoring the Akhilesh Yadav faction, the Yadav chieftain said everyone now knew who was trying to break the party.
'Everyone knows who has met the leaders of our opponents, the 77-year-old leader said and pointed out that while he has mingled with opposition leaders these were 'just social courtesies.
He was apparently referring to potshots taken by Ram Gopal at him with regards to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's presence at a family wedding in Saifai, Uttar Pradesh.
He also accused the Rajya Sabha member, who was expelled from the party on December 30 last year, of going ahead to form a separate party the Akhil Bharatiya Samajwadi Party (ABSP) wi the party symbol of a motorcycle.
Political observers here feel that Mulayam Singh was now reconciled to the fact that all efforts of a patch-up with his son have failed and that a split in the party is imminent.
A section, however, feels that Mulayam's impromptu speech yesterday also signalled that owing to the prospects of his party splitting, he might cede to the demands of his defiant son and not retain the party presidency for himself.
With elections to the state assembly just round the corner and nominations for the first phase of polling to begin on January 17, fear of the party symbol being frozen are doing the rounds in both camps.
Akhilesh Yadav, however, seems to have made up his mind and is now trying to stitch up an alliance with the Congress for the crucial polls.
The father and son are engaged in an intense tussle for control of the party. A 90-minute meeting on Tuesday failed to break the deadlock, despite a climbdown by Mulayam Singh, who has said that Akhilesh will be chief minister again if the party wins the elections.
Akhilesh Yadav has refused to give up the post of party president that he usurped from his father a few days ago till after the elections as he fears that will allow his uncle Shivpal Yadav and Amar Singh, both close to his father, to influence crucial decisions.
The Election Commission will decide tomorrow whether either of the factions would get the party's cycle symbol.
Representing Akhilesh Yadav, Ram Gopal Yadav has handed to the poll panel six boxes of documents and signed papers that he says proves the chief minister commands the support of a majority of the Samajwadi Party leaders, workers and lawmakers and so should be recognised as the true leader of the party and given the symbol.
Elections will be held in the state in multiple phases starting on February 11. Votes will be counted on March 11.