At SP’s show of unity, Akhilesh says: ‘Ready for any test’
As the power tussle between Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal played out in open on the silver jubilee celebrations of the Samajwadi Party, the former on Saturday said he was ready for any test and cautioned against “damage” to the party.
“I will not reply to certain things. Ram Manohar Lohiaji used to say he would be heard but only after death. I want to say that people will hear but only after everything is damaged,” Akhilesh said addressing an event on the occasion.
His remarks came after Shivpal Yadav took a swipe at his nephew, saying some people inherit power without doing anything while others get nothing despite making sacrifices. Akhilesh said: ‘If you want to take my test, I am ready for anything. Our target is to defeat BJP and BSP in 2017 elections. This UP election will decide future of the country,” he said.
In a bid to portray a united front ahead of the 2017 state Assembly elections, the feuding first family had come together on Thursday to flag off Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s “rath yatra” in Lucknow. Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shivpal, with whom the Chief Minister was locked in a bitter power struggle had extended him “best wishes”.
Amid a bitter power tussle between the two leaders, Akhilesh took a dig at uncle Shivpal saying: “You gave me sword, don’t want me to use it”.
Earlier, the two leaders showed unusual bonhomie wherein Akhilesh touched the feet of Shivpal. The UP CM had sacked Shivpal Yadav twice as minister in his government last month. Shivpal gave all the credit to the SP’s success in UP to older brother and party chief Mulayam Singh, who launched the party on this day on 1992.
High drama ensued when Shivpal shoved party leader Javed Abidi on stage interrupting him during his speech. Abidi was vociferously pitching for Akhilesh to be nominated as the Chief Ministerial candidate before elections.
Earlier, Shivpal announced on stage that he did not have any aspiration of becoming the CM of Uttar Pradesh. However, he added that some outsiders had entered the party and there was a need to stay alert. Meanwhile, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav was seen playing a conciliatory role and urged the leaders to work together ahead of the Assembly elections scheduled to be held next year.
JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, former Prime Minister H D Dewe Gowda and other senior politicians also marked their presence at the event.