The Samajwadi Party on Monday announced that Akhilesh Yadav will be its chief ministerial face in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections again.
Briefing the media, party vice-president Kironmoy Nanda said the announcement had the approval of party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Addressing a press conference in the past week, Mulayam had refrained from declaring his son as the chief ministerial candidate, saying that the decision would be taken by Samajwadi Party’s legislature panel after the elections would be concluded.
The declaration by the 76-year-old leader came a day after his cousin Ram Gopal Yadav penned a hard-hitting letter to him, saying, "History is ruthless. It spares no one.” Ram Gopal further added that Akhilesh is undoubtedly the most popular leader in Uttar Pradesh, and stated that there should be no ambiguity regarding the chief ministerial face of SP.
Ram Gopal further warned that Mulayam would be solely responsible for his comments if Samajwadi Party ends up winning less than 100 seats in the coming elections.
He had on Sunday warned Mulayam Singh that history would not forgive him if he did not project Akhilesh Yadav as the chief ministerial candidate.
Soon after getting the letter, Mulayam Singh met Ram Gopal Yadav in New Delhi for some three hours.
The crisis in the Samajwadi Party started after Akhilesh was removed as the party's Uttar Pradesh chief and replaced by his uncle Shivpal last month. Akhilesh has also expressed his displeasure at Mulayam making Amar Singh a top party functionary.
The assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh are expected to be held in February-March 2017.