Newly re-elected President of the Samajwadi Party and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday drove to his father Mulayam Singh Yadav’s house and was closeted with him for about an hour, raising hopes of a possible patch-up between the two.
This is his first meeting with his father after being elected as the party chief at the Agra convention of the party on October 5.
Mulayam, along with his younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav, had skipped the important national convention — a first in 25 years of the party’s history.
The political grapevine in the state capital has it that there is finally some thaw in the father-son relations, which fell apart in January this year when Akhilesh overthrew his father as the party chief and replaced him in a coup of sorts.
Sources in both camps told IANS that while there were “still many knots”, the ice had been broken between the two, raising hopes that realignment of the family as well as the party might take place soon.
Mulayam is sullen at the way he has been edged out in the party that he formed 25 years back and Akhilesh has a grouse with his father that he sides with his estranged uncle Shivpal over him.
Mulayam has reportedly told Akhilesh to regain the respect of his uncle Shivpal by naming him as the national General Secretary of the party. Shivpal, however, wants that the post of party President is honourably returned to Mulayam.
This looks unlikely, at least for now, as Akhilesh has already been elected party chief for the next five years at the Agra convention.
All eyes are now on 5, Vikramaditya Marg (Mulayam’s residence) on what emerges from there. Only last month Mulayam had hurriedly called a press conference, apparently to announce a new party and breaking of ranks with the SP, but he developed cold feet at the last minute and refused to read from the prepared text that would have announced a new party.
Since then Shivpal has gone into a sulk over what his camp perceives as “yet another ditching by Mulayam”, but with not many options left, Shivpal has for now stuck to his brother.
Akhilesh on his part ensured that there were no hostile comments or speeches and slogans against his uncle at the Agra convention, unlike the one at the Janeshwar Mishra park in Lucknow on January 1 this year when Shivpal was the target of many.