Akhilesh may face stormy days ahead

Mulayam camp demands SP chief's resignation

Akhilesh may face stormy days ahead

Even as the family feud threatened to flare up again in the wake of his severe drubbing in the Assembly polls, SP president Akhilesh Yadav came under attack from the rival faction in the party, which demanded his resignation from the post of national president.

While his father and SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav, as in the past, gave mixed signals, the faction led by Akhilesh’s uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav launched a scathing attack on the Uttar Pradesh chief minister and held him responsible for SP’s humiliating defeat in the elections.

Mulayam, who was quoted as saying earlier in the day that Akhilesh was responsible for the party’s defeat, changed his statement after reaching Saifai, his native village in Etawah district.

“The defeat cannot be attributed to one individual... we failed to reach out to the electorate... it is a defeat of the party,” Mulayam told reporters in Saifai.

He said the party would deliberate on the reasons that might have led to the defeat and emerge stronger in the days to come. “We have seen worse days,” he said.

Akhilesh, who presided over a meeting of the senior party leaders here on Sunday, also asked the workers not lose heart and reorganise themselves to face the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Neither Mulayam nor Shivpal was present at the meeting.

Shivpal, however, continued his tirade against Akhilesh. “The party has not lost the polls... it is the defeat of arrogance,” he said, apparently referring to Akhilesh.

Senior SP leaders close to Mulayam demanded the resignation of Akhilesh and his uncle and party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav, saying they should take moral responsibility of the drubbing.

Many senior SP leaders who were close to Mulayam managed to survive the Modi wave, while most Akhilesh loyalists lost to their rivals.

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