Lucknow: In yet another sign of rapprochement between different camps in the Samajwadi Party, senior party leader Kiranmoy Nanda has endorsed Akhilesh Yadav as party's chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming assembly elections.
“The confusion is in media, not within party or people; Samajwadi Party will win and Akhilesh Yadav will become chief minister,” Nanda said.
Nanda, who is the national vice president of the Samajwadi party, is a close aide of party boss Mulayam Singh Yadav.
His support for Akhilesh as CM came a day after senior party leader Ramgopal Yadav suggested Akhilesh Yadav be made the chief ministerial candidate.
The Samajwadi Party state president said he will himself propose Akhilesh's name for the post of chief minister if the party is voted to power again.
Earlier, another of Akhilesh's uncle, Ramgopal Yadav, in a letter to Mulayam, said he would be held responsible if the party's fortunes plunged in the forthcoming Assembly elections.
"Akhilesh is undoubtedly the most popular leader of the state and under him Uttar Pradesh has seen unprecedented development works. If SP has to win the elections, Akhilesh must be made its CM face," the letter said.
"You can take any decision, but if SP's tally fell below 100, you alone would be held responsible. The same people who worship you for raising Samajwadi Party and would hold you responsible for its decline also.”
"History is ruthless. It spares no one," Ramgopal said in the letter while taking pot shots on his "advisors" stating that "they had no value in the eyes of people".
Responding to Ramgopal's letter, Shivpal said, “Ramgopal is party's national general secretary. He can write to party national president and give him advice. There is nothing wrong in it. I will myself propose Akhilesh's name as CM, if party is voted to power in 2017."
A controversy had erupted after Mulayam Singh Yadav said the party's Chief Ministerial candidate will be decided by elected party legislatures after the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
"The Chief ministerial candidate will be decided by the elected party legislatures and parliamentary board. This is our job. This is not your (media) work," he told reporters here when asked whether his son Akhilesh Yadav was still the SP's Chief Ministerial candidate for the upcoming elections.
The remarks come as another setback to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who was recently removed from party's state president post owing to an apparent feud in the first family of the state.
They also contest the 'undisputed' position of Akhilesh as the Chief Ministerial candidate of Uttar Pradesh.
Mulayam, however, parried questions regarding Akhilesh making Janeshwar Mishra Trust office as "war room" ahead of the state polls and his departure before the SP chief's arrival during Lohia death anniversary programme.
"There is no dispute in the family. Shivpal had met him (Akhilesh) this morning. In the last elections, votes were sought in my name but I made him (Akhilesh) the state's CM," he said.
"Kise kahan baithana hai, hum khud tai karenge (I will decide whom to place where)," he said.
The family feud in the party had came to the fore after the merger of Quami Ekta Dal was cancelled at the behest of Akhilesh.
Akhilesh's supporters, including some MLCs and presidents of party frontal organisations, led protests against his removal but had to backtrack after Mulayam's intervention. The supporters were later expelled by newly appointed state party chief Shivpal from the party.
With agency inputs