Samajwadi Party founder, and now its mentor, Mulayam Singh Yadav on Saturday ventured out for the first time in the ongoing Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, to seek votes for his younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav.
Addressing his first rally in the party stronghold of Takha block in Jaswantnagar, he however did not for once mention his son and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav as he asked people to support the former PWD Minister Shivpal Yadav in the electoral battle.
Mulayam Singh, who also said that the election was "important for both him and Shivpal", however continued to appear angry with his son who overthrew him in a coup of sorts on January 1 to become the national president and name his father the mentor.
To surprise of many, the patriarch also sought votes for the Lok Dal candidate from Etawah Sadar than for the SP's official candidate, indicating that all was still not well in the Yadav clan and the party.
Mulayam Singh, who had initially spoken out against SP's alliance with Congress and had refused to campaign, later did a u-turn and said he was helpless and would campaign for Akhilesh Yadav as he was his son. Soon after being named SP president, Akhilesh had sacked his uncle Shivpal as state unit president and booted out Amar Singh, a Rajya Sabha member very close to his father.
So far, Mulayam Singh has only confirmed he would campaign for Shivpal Singh and daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav, who is making her political debut from Lucknow Cantonment seat.