Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday said that he was prepared to contest against his son and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, if the attempts to keep the party united fail.
"Akhilesh is being misled by Ram Gopal (Yadav). He is not even ready to listen to me. I invited him today (Monday) to discuss matters but he didn't come. If he doesn't listen to me, I will contest against him," Mulayam Singh said.
His remarks came as later in the day the Election Commission allotted the party symbol of 'cycle' to the Akhilesh Yadav faction.
Mulayam Singh made the remarks during a visit in the morning to the party office where he interacted with party members, including state Samajwadi Party chief Naresh Uttam, who was appointed state party chief by the faction led by Akhilesh Yadav.
Mulayam Singh is learnt to have told party members that he tried to speak to Akhilesh for rapprochement thrice but the son did not respond properly.
During the meeting, the 77-year-old former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh said the Muslim community was "angry" as the Akhilesh government "had not worked for them" in the last five years.
"There is no Muslim name in the list issued by Akhilesh Yadav. Is this the way he wants to chalk out his political future," the patriarch said.
"Muslims make our government but Akhilesh Yadav is not even a little worried about them," he said.
Uttar Pradesh will go to assembly elections in seven phases from February 11 for 403 seats.
Mulayam Singh appealed to party members to support him as "Akhilesh was not listening" to him.
The party founder also blamed Akhilesh for removal of some senior leaders from the party "at the behest" of Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Yadav.