Kolkata: Even as the feud in UP's ruling Samajwadi Party on Monday came out into the open with a high-voltage drama unfolding in full public view, the man in the centre of the storm, Amar Singh, refused to make a comment.
"My best wishes to Akhilesh Yadav, he is son of my supreme leader, won't make any comment, Singh, a Rajya Sabha SP MP, said.
He added, "For me silence is the best strategic answer to all questions," as per ANI.
Later at another function, Singh thanked SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and UP SP chief Shivpal Yadav for standing beside him.
"I thank Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav for standing beside me," he said, as per PTI.
Earlier today, Mulayam sided with Shivpal and friend Singh, and reprimanded son Akhilesh but ruled out his removal as CM.
The bitter power struggle in SP's first family played out on stage at a meeting called by Mulayam of party legislators, MPs and other leaders where Akhilesh, blowing hot and cold, first offered to step down in a choked voice but later accused Amar Singh and those close to him of hatching a "conspiracy" against him and his father.
There were sharp exchanges between Akhilesh and Mulayam, who virtually dismissed him as an insignificant entity in UP politics who could not win an election without his support.
"What is your capability? Can you win elections?" he said, snapping at Akhilesh, as per PTI.
There were ugly scenes and name-calling, with Shivpal, the state SP chief, snatching microphone from Akhilesh and calling him a liar, only to make a dramatic appearance at the CM's residence hours later. The nephew-uncle duo drove in the same car to meet party patriarch Mulayam, who was said to be having a severe toothache, surprising many.
Party observers said the meeting could have been at the behest of Mulayam, who had earlier in the day wished that Akhilesh and Shivpal transcended all differences and hugged each other.
The bile-filled exchanges between top SP leaders came a day after the continuing battle of attrition between Akhilesh and his uncle Shivpal saw the CM sacking Shivpal and three other ministers close to him, and Mulayam striking back with vengeance expelling from the party for six years his cousin Ram Gopal Yadav.
Ram Gopal, a Rajya Sabha member, has been backing Akhilesh in his fight against Shivpal.
Addressing the gathering Akhilesh ruled out forming a new party, a claim which Shivpal disputed, saying he was prepared to "swear" by his son and "Ganga jal" that the Chief Minister had told him he would indeed float a new party and contest the assembly polls in alliance with some political party.
(With Agency inputs)