Following the resignation of three Samajwadi Party MLCs, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday made it clear that those who want to leave are free to do so, but must not concoct excuses for their withdrawal.
"If the leaders want to leave the party then they can do it. But they should not give any false excuse as Bukkal Ji did. I want to see who will stand by us through the worst of times," Akhilesh said in a statement.
In a setback to Akhilesh, his three Member of Legislative Council (MLC) members including Yashwant Sinha, Bukkal Nawab and Sarojini Agarwal resigned from the party last month and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Reacting to the development, Akhilesh accused the BJP of luring Opposition party MLCs through a "political conspiracy".
The situation worsened the woes of Samajwadi Party chief after his party was ousted from power in the last Assembly elections in the state.
The Samajwadi Party has also been in news for the rift between Akhilesh and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Mulayam, earlier in April, had blamed Akhilesh for the Samajwadi Party's poor performance in the Assembly Elections and said that his son had insulted him and the voters understood that "one who is not loyal to his father, cannot be loyal to anyone" which led to the party's poll debacle.
"I was badly insulted, which I had never faced in my life. Nevertheless, I tolerated it. No leader of any party in India had made his son a chief minister during his lifetime, but I made Akhilesh the Chief Minister of UP," he said.
The Samajwadi Party got only 47 seats out 403 in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.