SP claims Mulayam's backing

SP claims Mulayam's backing

SP claims Mulayam's backing
A day after a joint show of strength with the Congress, the Samajwadi Party (SP) seemed to be in damage control mode after party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav threatened to field SP rebels against the Congress in Uttar Pradesh. The SP claimed that ‘Netaji’ (Mulayam) would campaign for the party candidates in the Assembly elections.

“Netaji will campaign for us...We have his blessings... Even if he does not actively campaign, his blessings will see us through,” said party leader Juhi Singh here on Monday.

From second phase
Another SP leader said Mulayam will hit the campaign trail after the first phase of polling ends. “Netaji will campaign in Rampur for Azam Khan and other SP nominees,” the party leader added. While addressing a rally at Kasganj on Monday, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said he had his father’s blessings. “We will face the polls with Netaji’s blessings.... The SP is his (Mulayam) party...His respect will only increase if SP wins,” Akhilesh said.

Mulayam had on Sunday expressed his strong displeasure over the alliance and said that he would not campaign. Mulayam’s younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav has also raised a banner of revolt and announced that he would support the SP leaders who were refused ticket by Akhilesh.

Shivpal’s supporters also set-up an informal platform to bring together Mulayam loyalists sidelined by Akhilesh. The platform called ‘Mulayam Ke Log’ (people of Mulayam) was set-up at Etawah.

The SP leaders close to Akhilesh said that efforts were on to persuade Mulayam not to do anything that harmed the party’s electoral prospects. “His (Mulayam) remarks can damage our prospects...We will request him not to make such remarks during the elections,” said a senior leader and Akhilesh aide here. A large number of leaders close to Mulayam and Shivpal have been dropped by Akhilesh and many of them have even joined rival parties.