On sunday Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav staged a coup , dislodging his father Mulayam Singh Yadav as Samajwadi Party president and installing himself as the boss at an “emergency convention” of the party.
He did make his father the ‘margdarshak’ or mentor, but this could hardly mask the fact that party founded by the 77-year-old former UP CM has gone out of his control. The special convention, called by Mulayam’s cousin Ram Gopal, also moved two other proposals: sack MP Amar Singh from primary membership of the party and remove Shivpal, Mulayam’s younger brother, as state president.
The Election Commission is likely to freeze the ‘bicycle’ symbol as it doesn’t have enough time to verify the claim of either of the two factions as to which one is real. The freezing of the symbol would further erode any leverage Mulayam has left with the MLAs, and level the playing field between him and his son.
According to Article 14(2) of the SP constitution, a special convention can be convened on the back of a demand for it by 40% or more members. A senior party functionary said, “The SP constitution was written by Ram Gopal Yadav and there is no one who knows it better.”