Lucknow, (IANS) Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav met here on Tuesday in what informed sources said was a last-minute bid to buy peace in the party.
The 90-minute meeting, at Mulayam Singh’s residence, came amid the serious prospects of the Election Commission freezing the party’s election symbol ‘cycle’.
While Mulayam Singh on Monday made a U-turn and declared that Akhilesh Yadav would be the Chief Minister if the party won the assembly polls, the Akhilesh camp is reportedly not convinced about the change of heart.
A source close to the Chief Minister confirmed the “persisting mutual distrust” but expressed happiness they had met.
Political observers feel that by yielding some space to Akhilesh Yadav, Mulayam Singh was trying to isolate the Chief Minister by painting him as one who defied not only the party constitution but was greedy for power even if it meant tripping his ageing father.
The Samajwadi Party chief is learnt to have reiterated his apprehension that Ram Gopal Yadav – who Mulayam Singh says is no part of the party – was misleading Akhilesh Yadav and was jeopardizing his political career.
The Chief Minister is learnt to have heard out his father, presented his side of the story and discussed the future of Ram Gopal Yadav, Shivpal Yadav and Amar Singh and distribution of tickets and a possible alliance with the Congress.
The sources said the impasse continued as Akhilesh Yadav drove out without making any commitment to his father. He is learnt to have told him that he would consult his team and Ram Gopal Yadav and revert.
Leaders privy to both camps in the Samajwadi Party feel that the chances of a compromise were thin.
Both sides have petitioned the Election Commission claiming the ‘cycle’ symbol and are seemingly working at cross purposes.