Lucknow, Jan 11 (IANS) Samajwadi Party (SP) Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav made a passionate pitch to his supporters and party workers here on Wednesday and said that while some forces were out to split the party, he was doing everything to ensure that 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.
"Mera jo bhi tha, maine party ko de diya hai. Par sabne ye manna chahiye ki yeh party sangharshon se yahan tak pahunchi hai (I have given everything to the party and everyone should accept that the party has reached here after much struggle)," he said in one 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 was a kid. 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) with 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 on Wednesday 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.
Chief Minister 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.
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