Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and controversially-appointed Samajwadi Party National President Akhilesh Yadav has reportedly directed banks to freeze the party’s accounts, which hold an estimated Rs 500 crore, IANS reported. The move will isolate the chief minister’s father, Mulayam Singh Yadav, who is at loggerheads with him over claiming the party name and election symbol before the elections in February.
The accounts were earlier managed by Akhilesh Yadav’s uncle, Shivpal Yadav, who has sworn his allegiance to Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Akhilesh Yadav supporter, Sunil Singh Sajan, said the chief minister’s faction was not worried about the possibility that the party symbol may be “frozen by the election commission”, the news agency reported. Uttar Pradesh will hold its elections in seven phases starting on February 11. More than 200 MLAs and at least 54 MLCs have backed the chief minister, according to The Indian Express.
The Uttar Pradesh chief minister has asked Mulayam Singh Yadav to let him be national president for three months. The Election Commission on Thursday had asked both factions to file a reply by January 9 on each other’s petitions to claim the party symbol to use during polls. SP’s senior leader Azam Khan has been acting as the peace broker, though this has not yielded any results.
The SP feud escalated in December, when Akhilesh Yadav released his own list of candidates for the polls. Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Ram Gopal Yadav were expelled from the party on December 30, but reinstated a day later. Following this, Akhilesh Yadav held his own national convention where he was declared the party national president, but Mulayam Singh Yadav called this “illegal”.
In September 2015, when Shivpal Yadav was appointed the state SP chief, Akhilesh Yadav had relieved him of his Cabinet portfolios. This prompted months of party infighting. Despite interventions from Mulayam Singh Yadav and other senior party leaders, there seems to be no resolution in sight.