Mulayam Singh Yadav today rebuked the supporters of UP CM Akhilesh Yadav and senior Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Yadav for taking to the streets over a dispute involving the two.
"I will not let this happen in the party. I have worked hard to bring it to this position. This 'tamasha' (circus) will not be allowed," he, according to sources, told the SP workers.
As soon as Mulayam arrived at the party office here, he was surrounded by party workers as well as the media. The SP supremo directly went to the auditorium where the supporters of his son Akhilesh were shouting slogans, demanding that he be reinstated as the party's state unit president.
Mulayam defended his decision of replacing Akhilesh with Shivpal as the Uttar Pradesh SP chief, saying the latter worked "shoulder-to-shoulder" with him to bring the party to its current position.
The SP supremo also lashed out at the chiefs of the party's front organisations-Lohia Vahani, Mulayam Singh Yadav Youth Brigade, Chhatra Sabha and Yuvjan Sabha- and asked them not to indulge in such protests and instead, work "on the ground" to strengthen the party.
"We have been asked to work at the booth-level to strengthen the party. Netaji (Mulayam) told us that while the BJP was actively working in the state, we were involved in staging protests and asked us to shun such activities," a youth leader said.
Earlier, before meeting the SP chief, Mulayam Singh Yadav Youth Brigade president Mohd Aibad said, "We have conveyed our feelings to Netaji that we (all the youth front organisations) will not be able to work with anyone except Akhilesh. We want him back as the party's state president. The youth is feeling dejected after his removal. They are depressed and even ready to immolate themselves for him (Akhilesh)."
MLCs Rajpal Kashyap, Anand Bhadauria and Sunil Singh Sajan, all of whom had, in the past, held posts in the SP's front organisations, were also seen raising slogans in Akhilesh's favour.
"Netaji, on many occasions, has said that the youth should lead. We want him to bring back Akhileshji, who is the undisputed leader of the youth and the poor and who has done a lot for the development of the state," Kashyap said.
During the protests, supporters of Akhilesh were also seen burning posters of Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh. Mulayam left the party office after meeting the party workers, without talking to the media.