Lucknow: Asserting that he would not allow the SP to be split, party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav today turned emotional, saying he has given whatever he had and advised his son Akhilesh Yadav to keep away from the dispute.
Amidst the ongoing tussle in the party, Mulayam in his address to party workers at the SP headquarters here before leaving for New Delhi once again trained his guns at cousin Ramgopal accusing him of conspiring to break the party and threw his weight behind brother Shivpal Yadav, who is at loggerheads with the UP Chief Minister.
"I know who met the president of another party thrice. He wants to save his son and daughter-in-law. He should have approached me. I would have saved them.
"I asked them (rival camp) not to dispute. I want unity in the party. I am neither making new party not changing our symbol," he said.
"I know who is forming Akhil Bhartiya Samajwadi Party (ABSP) and desiring motorcycle symbol," he said.
Apparently referring to son Akhilesh's claim for the party president's post, Mulayam turned emotional and said, "I have given whatever I had. What is left with me? I only have you (workers) all."
"I founded SP during Emergency days when Akhilesh Yadav was two years old," Mulayam said, flanked by brother Shivpal Yadav.
"Akhilesh Yadav is Chief Minister and he will be the next CM also. Why are you (Akhilesh) going to these persons...Don't drag yourself in dispute. We want unity in party at any cost," Mulayam said. Mulayam also praised Shivpal, saying he toiled very hard for the party.
Akhilesh has been demanding removal of Shivpal from the post of the SP's UP chief and sacking of Amar Singh. But, both his demands have not been entertained by Mulayam leading to the logjam in the party in the poll-bound state.
In his address to the party workers, he said, "Your worry is justified because Samajwadi Party has been formed after struggle. I had gone to Delhi so that there is no harm to party's unity. I have given full time for the party and will not let it split".
When asked to comment on the issue, senior party leader Ambika Chowdhury, considered close to Mulayam, said, "We expect to contest the polls unitedly. SP is ahead of rival BJP and BSP and moreover our candidates are strong."
About the dispute in the party which has reached the doors of Election Commission, Chowdhury said, "We are confident of retaining 'cycle' symbol and will be waiting for EC's move on January 13."
The two SP factions led by Mulayam and Akhilesh have staked claim over the party and its election symbol 'cycle' ahead of Assembly elections. The matter will be heard by Election Commission on January 13.