Lucknow: Notwithstanding the deep divide in his family and party, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday sought to project an 'all is well' image even though he could not commit whether his brother Shivpal would be reinstated in the cabinet of son Akhilesh Yadav who had sacked him.
The "party and family are united", he said here at a press conference where he was flanked by Shivpal and three other sacked ministers but Chief Minister Akhilesh was conspicuous by his absence.
While Mulayam addressed the press conference, a day after acrimonious scenes were witnessed at the party meet, supporters of Akhilesh and Shivpal held protests outside the SP office.
Seeking to assert his dominant role, Mulayam said SP had come to power in Uttar Pradesh in 2012 because of him only and still he had made Akhilesh the chief minister. He however, ruled out becoming the chief minister with Assembly elections barely few months away.
"My entire life is devoted for the welfare of the people and he will continue to work for them," he added. Mulayam strongly defended party MP Amar Singh, who is being blamed by the Akhilesh faction for the problems in the family, asking "why to drag him in all this"? "My family and party are united. All workers are united. There are some conspirators, who do not have any mass base," Mulayam told a hurriedly convened press conferences.
"There is not matbhed (difference) or manbhed (ill feelings) among our leaders," Yadav said.
Asked whether Shivpal and other sacked ministers would then be reinstated in the Akhilesh cabinet, he said, "I leave this to CM.... You ask him why he made them ministers and why he sacked them."
Appearing cautious while replying to a questions, Mulayam said, "I will not make any single controversial statement. Whatever you may ask." To a question whether he would take over the reins of the state from his son Akhilesh, the SP supremo said, "Why will I consider it now when Assembly elections are just few months away."
He said Model Code of Conduct will come into force in November or December and government will not be able to work freely. About party's chief ministerial candidate for 2017, the SP supremo said, "Ours is a democratic party. First let us get majority and then elected representatives will select their CM.
Presently, Akhilesh is CM, does anyone have any problem?" On certain statements by pro-Akhilesh cousin Ramgopal Yadav, who has been expelled from the party, Mulayam said, "I do not give him any importance now." Sacked ministers Om Prakash Singh, Narad Rai and Sayeda Shadab Fatima were also present, besides tainted minister Gayatri Prajapati.