Clashes between the rival groups, break-down of the hi-tech rath (mercedez) and differences come to the fore during the launch of Rath Yatra of Samajwadi party today.
However, the ruling party (SP) tried to presen a united picture as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav embarked on the first phase of the ‘Samajwadi Vikas Path Yatra’.
While speculation was rife that SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and his younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav would give the event a miss, both turned up at the event.
In the first phase of the Rath Yatra, which is being seen as a show of strength by Akhilesh, particularly after the bitter turf war in the Yadav clan and the ruling party, the Chief Minister will cover 75km and will travel from Lucknow to Unnao, trying to sell his development plank.
A few hundred metres into his ‘Vikas Yatra’, Akhilesh Yadav had to ditch his snazzy red Mercedes bus and get into an open SUV. The hi-tech ‘rath’ has broken down and work is on to repair it.
Even before the function, two groups of Akhilesh supporters clashed with each other, bringing back memories of a similar melee witnessed soon after he was sworn in as the Chief Minister on March 15, 2012.
In his address, Shivpal said the party was with Akhilesh in his yatra and extended his good wishes to the Chief Minister for its success.
However, Akhilesh ignored his uncle and state unit chief Shivpal.
In his address the Chief Minister took names of senior ministers, MP’s party office bearers but did not name Shivpal and instead referred to him as the state unit chief only in the end.