Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav on Saturday said the people of Uttar Pradesh had accepted Akhilesh Yadav as the chief minister only because he is his son, The Times of India reported. The party patriarch said Akhilesh was made chief minister despite initial objections from Mulayam’s brother Shivpal Singh Yadav. His remarks came only hours after the chief minister said that Shivpal would be re-inducted into the state cabinet.

Mulayam criticised his son’s leadership of the party during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, saying that only “five members from the family won” seats in the Lower House of Parliament. “If I had listened to Shivpal, we would have won 30-35 seats, and I would have been the PM,” the SP leader said.

He also criticised supporters of his son and brother for protesting against the other side, PTI reported. “I will not let this happen in the party. I have worked hard to bring it to this position. This tamasha [circus] will not be allowed,” Mulayam said.

A leader from the party’s youth outfit said affiliated organisations of the SP, such as the Yuvjan Sabha and the Mulayam Singh Yadav Youth Brigade, had been asked to “work at the booth-level to strengthen” the party. This came after the president of the Youth Brigade said all youth organisations affiliated with the party had told Mulayam that they would “not be able to to work with anyone except Akhilesh”.

Akhilesh on Sunday met with Shivpal and later said there was no rift in the party. He said he had personally congratulated his uncle, who recently replaced him as the chief of the party's state unit. On Thursday, Shivpal had submitted his resignation from all party and government positions. His supporters had taken to the streets demanding that he be reinstated. Mulayam Singh Yadav’s move to replace Akhilesh Yadav with Shivpal Yadav was triggered by fears of an anti-incumbency vote against the state government.