Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav Thursday made clear that he is upset with the alliance forged by his son and party president Akhilesh Yadav with the Bahujan Samaj Party.
Mulayam Singh Yadav expressed unhappiness over the Uttar Pradesh pact ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, questioning why Akhilesh Yadav gave half the seats to Mayawati’s party.
The remarks come days after SP patriarch created a stir in Parliament, saying he wished that Prime Minister Narendra Modi returns to power.
Addressing party workers at the SP headquarters in Lucknow, he urged them to approach him for the ticket to contest the parliamentary polls and suggested that he could “change” any decision taken by his son.
Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati had jointly announced the alliance in January, saying the SP and the BSP will contest 38 seats each out of the 80 in Uttar Pradesh.
Soon after the party patriarch’s comments, the SP and the BSP released the list of Lok Sabha constituencies shared between the two alliance partners. The SP now gets 37 seats and the BSP 38.
“Now, tell me the basis for giving away half the seats. Now we have only half the seats left. Our party was stronger," Mulayam Singh Yadav said.
"We are strong, our men are weakening the party. What a strong party we had made, and I became the CM and the defence minister as well," he said, suggesting that the SP has seen better days under him.
"The BJP's election preparation is better. It has an edge over us,” he told party workers, and suggested that the candidates should be announced soon so that they can begin work on the ground.
"How many of you have given applications to me? Nobody. Then how will you get the ticket. Akhilesh will give the ticket, but I can change it," he said.
He mentioned his brother Shivpal Yadav, who broke away from the SP after complaining that Akhilesh Yadav had sidelined him.
"Now, Shivpal is not here. He has formed his own party,” Mulayam Singh Yadav said, referring to the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia.
The SP founder also expressed a desire to meet Ram Gopal Yadav, seen to be on Akhilesh Yadav’s side in the family feud for power.
Party president Akhilesh Yadav had earlier addressed a joint press conference with Patidar leader Hardik Patel.
Both then met Mulayam Singh Yadav briefly and left the party office.
The senior Yadav’s press interaction followed. SP state president Naresh Uttam sat next to him, taking notes.
Mulayam Singh Yadav said women should be given “more tickets” by the party.
Speaking on the last day of the 16th Lok Sabha earlier this month, Mulayam Singh Yadav had triggered much speculation when he congratulated Modi for “taking everyone along”.
“I hope all members will win and return and you will become the prime minister again," he had then said.