The Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, during his 79th birthday celebration event, on Wednesday said that Akhilesh “is a son first and leader later” and added that he had blessed his son Akhilesh Yadav, and would continue to do so.
The father and son shared the dais at the party headquarters in Lucknow after nearly a year, as party workers gathered to wish the Mulayam Singh on his 79th birthday.
Mulayam Sing Yadav was born on November 22, 1939, in Saifai village of the state’s Etawah district.
SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav was greeted by party leaders, with Akhilesh touching his feet and welcoming him with a shawl.
“I have given my blessing to Akhilesh and will continue to do so. This is an issue of discussion in the country that I blessed Akhilesh. I want to say he is my son and is also in politics,” Mulayam said.
Mulayam also cut a cake on the occasion and offered the first slice to his son.
Mulayam loyalist and Akhilesh’s uncle Shivpal Yadav did not attend the celebrations. He wished SP veteran leader on Twitter saying, best wishes to honourable Mulayam Singh on his birthday.
— Shivpal Singh Yadav (@shivpalsinghyad) November 22, 2017
But other supporters, including SP MLA Ashu Malik and Narad Rai, who joined the BSP during the Assembly polls, accompanied the patriarch.
Mulayam talked about “samajwad” (socialism) and suggested party workers to read-up on Ram Manohar Lohia (Lohia was an activist for the Indian independence movement and a socialist political leader).
He also held them responsible for the party’s poor show in the Assembly elections, in which the party won only 47 of the 403 seats and also pulled up Akhilesh for giving party positions to those who “cannot win (a seat) even at the level of their village polling booth”.
Akhilesh, who was unanimously re-elected the party president at the SP national convention in October, had claimed he had the blessings of his father, though Mulayam and his estranged uncle Shivpal Yadav had skipped the Agra event.
Mulayam has not been on good terms with Akhilesh since his son ousted him from the post of the party national president in January.
A birthday-bash was also held by family members and close friends at Mulayam’s residence in Lucknow on Tuesday night.
(With agency inputs)