Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is still making efforts for a rapprochement with his father, Mulayam Singh Yadav, a key aide and strategist of the chief minister has told HuffPost India.
"We are still open to resolving matters and fighting together with the cycle symbol," the aide said, a day after Akhilesh declared himself as the party's national president, replacing his father.
"We are ready to compromise on everything except the candidate list. The chief minister cannot go and campaign in the name of candidates he doesn't approve of," he said.
He said there was no need to declare Akhilesh as CM candidate, as the campaign would has Akhilesh as the face anyway. "It's a mismatch if you put Mukhtar Ansari (a politician accused in many criminal cases) with Anna Hazare. We have a campaign plan and candidates who don't match the image and the agenda, can't get tickets," he said.
"We'll be okay even with Amar Singh back in the party and Shivpal Yadav as state unit president, as long as the candidate list is ours," he said. Asked how many of the 403 seats were in dispute now between the two sides, he replied, "There is no number. Any candidate we want, Shivpal opposes him, because he doesn't want us to win. We'll be ok even with Atique Ahmed (a criminal-politician in the party) because he was already with us. But what is the need to take new elements like Mukhtar Ansari and his cohort? They hurt the clean non-goonda image we are trying to project," he said.
The problem, the aide said, was that uncle Shivpal Yadav wants to control the party in the hope of becoming chief minister himself. "It wasn't just the Modi wave because of which we did badly in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. It was also the poor choice of candidate selection. Poor ticket distribution was done deliberately to make us lose. We don't want to repeat our mistakes," he said.
In a few days, he said, it should be clear whether Akhilesh will be contesting on the cycle symbol or a new symbol. "In case Netaji (Mulayam) doesn't relent, the Election Commission will freeze the cycle symbol and both factions would get a new symbol each. So we'll contest on the new symbol," he said.
Educating voters of the new symbol Akhilesh's candidates will contest from won't be a problem, he said. "We live in an age where our Facebook posts get comments from our villages. Within ten days, Akhilesh's face and symbol will be plastered on every homestead. The symbol is not an issue because workers till the booth level are on Akhilesh Yadav's computer, connected to him and with him," he said.
He denied rumours that Akhilesh was seeking to use a defunct party to get a new symbol.
"We don't need another party when we have taken control of the Samajwadi Party. After this election, when it is clear that we have won the election, we would get the cycle symbol permanently. So we'll get to keep our party and symbol. Why should we give up on our party?" he said, a day after Akhilesh's supporters stormed into the Samajwadi Party's headquarters in Lucknow and took control of it.
In a coup of sorts, Akhilesh, in a national convention of the party, was announced the party's national president, dethroning his father from the post. The 1st January event also saw Akhilesh Yadav and his team sacking Amar Singh from the party, Shivpal Yadav from the post of state president of the party. Father Mulayam Singh Yadav was given a ceremonial post of 'Sanrakshak'.
Mulayam Singh Yadav and his group have called the move illegal and have approached the Election Commission in Delhi to retain the cycle symbol and get back control of the party.
Also in HuffPost: