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Will He, Won't He: Mulayam Now Says He'll Campaign For Akhilesh And The Congress In UP

Flip-flop.

02/02/2017 1:07 PM IST | Updated 02/02/2017 1:37 PM IST
Pawan Kumar / Reuters

The political flip-flop in the Yadav family continues, with patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav announcing that he will not only campaign for his son, Akhilesh Yadav, but also for the Congress, which had allied with the Samajwadi Party (SP) to contest the forthcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh (UP).

In response to a question posed by a reporter, Mulayam reportedly said Akhilesh has his blessings, as he heads towards the polls. "He is my son after all," he added. When asked about his own plans, the former chief minister of the state added he will be campaigning for the SP as well as its ally, the Congress, from 9 February.

Over the last several weeks, the Yadavs have been embroiled in bitter disagreements over the political future of the party which Mulayam founded. The crisis peaked several times. Akhilesh was expelled from the party by Mulayam, then taken back, before the current CM of UP was legally elected the leader of the party, replacing his father, by the supporters. Soon after, the SP split into factions, which took their fight to the Election Commission. The latter ruled in favour of giving the disputed bicycle symbol and the name of the party to Akhilesh and his followers.

Since then, relations between father and son has blown hot and cold, often manifesting as public hostility. At the release of the party manifesto on 22 January, for instance, Mulayam remained conspicuous by his absence. But later that evening, Akhilesh put up a photograph of his father holding the document on social media.

After SP sealed its electoral alliance with the Congress, Mulayam expressed his displeasure, saying that his party was capable of fighting the battle in UP on its own.

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