Mulayam Singh Yadav, addressing Samajwadi Party workers outside his Lucknow residence on Wednesday, pledged that he will do all that it takes to save his party from a split.
Indirectly blaming his cousin Ram Gopal Yadav for the ongoing feud within the party, Mulayam said that there is only "one man" who is creating a rift within the party and the entire country knows who it is. He said that the rival camp is in cahoots with "another party" and he is aware of all the meetings that has taken between them.
"A few people want to break the party. They went ahead and met the leaders of the Opposition parties thrice. And I have every information on that," he said.
Mulayam also alleged, that it was Ram Gopal, who was goading Akhilesh towards a rebellion, while revealing that the former had even given a new party name and symbol to the Election Commission. "Will you people accept that?" he asked his supporters.
"Un logo ne naya chinh aur nayi party ka naam bhi tay kar liya... Akhl Bhartiya Samajwadi Party ke naam se motorcycle chunav chinha vo nirvachan aayog ko de aaye hain... magar hum kisi bhi keemat par apni party ki ekta chahte hain. (These people met the Election Commission and even gave them a new party name and symbol: Akhil Bharatiya Samajwadi Party on the 'motorcycle' symbol. But I want the unity of my party at all costs".)," Mulayam said.
Appearing resigned to the fate of an imminent split in the party he formed 25 years ago, Mulayam Singh also said he has given everything to the party and that he was left with nothing.
"Mera jo bhi tha, maine party ko de diya hai. Aur mere paas kya hai.. bus aaplogo ka sahyog (I have given everything to the party, what else do I have now except your support)," he said in one emotive tone even as his supporters raised slogans in his favour.
In a stirring speech to his supporters, Mulayam also recalled the struggle during the days of Emergency, that led to the formation of the party that has ruled Uttar Pradesh three times since it was founded.
Addressing the party workers, he said that he is aware of the concerns of the party workers, adding that he is doing all he can to save "their cycle."
"Main jaanta hu aap sab party ke bhavishya ke liye chintit hain aur aapki chinta jayaz hai, kyu ki ye party sangarsho se bani hai. Par hum dilli ja rahe hain aur halat me apni cyvle ko bachane ka pura prayas karenge," an emotional Mulayam told his supporters gathered in Lucknow, which has been the operational seat of the Uttar Pradesh's ruling party under his leadership, for more than a decade.
Flanked by his brother and close aide Shivpal Yadav, Mulayam's speech was also laced with disappointment and hurt whenever he referred to his son. Recalling the early days of his political career, he said that Akhilesh was barely two years old when he struggled for the country and the party, and even went to the jail. He said that Akhilesh should have come to him if he had complaints, but instead his own son went to "others" who are now creating a rift within the party.
He even said that it was Mulayam who made Akhilesh the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, while asserting that the cycle symbol, (read the original Samajwadi Party) is his.
Backing , Shivpal, who is at loggerhead with his son and is seen to be at the eye of the storm, he said that Shivpal has been with him through thick and thin, adding that they had together struggled for the party and the country when Akhilesh was just a baby. He also mentioned how Shivpal Singh Yadav, his younger brother, who was seated next to him, would bring food for him to the prison during his period of incarceration and later hide it at various places.
He sought to reassure the party workers that he will not allow a rift to appear within the party.
Political observers feel that Mulayam Singh was now reconciled to the fact that all efforts of a patch-up with his son have failed and that a split in the party is imminent.
A section, however, feels that Mulayam's impromptu speech on Wednesday also signalled that owing to the prospects of his party splitting, he might cede to the demands of his defiant son and not retain the party presidency for himself.
With elections to the state assembly just round the corner and nominations for the first phase of polling to begin on January 17, fear of the party symbol being frozen are doing the rounds in both camps.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, however, seems to have made up his mind and is now trying to stitch up an alliance with the Congress for the crucial polls.
With inputs from IANS