"You (Akhilesh) form the government.I will form a new party", Shivpal announced while addressing his supporters after filing his nomination papers from Jaswant Nagar Assembly seat in Etawah district. However, Shivpal stated that he will contest elections from Samajwadi Party but will only form a new party after March 11. "I will not campaign for it", Mulayam had said on a day his son and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi held their first joint press conference in Lucknow and held a road show displaying great bonhomie.
In a sarcastic tone, Shivpal also targeted Akhilesh, stating that it was his kindness that Akhilesh gave him a ticket, else he was ready to contest as an independent. The alliance is expected to compete against the electoral challenges from the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is looking to attract voters on the agenda of development while the BSP, led by Mayawati, is banking on the Muslim and Dalit voters.
"I know that my files related to fresh recruitments in my various departments were stopped deliberately", Shivpal added. He stressed that the only thing they wanted was to keep Mulayam's honour - by keeping him on as the national president of the party - even if he didn't have a say in ticket distribution.
Now a novice in the Congress electoral fray Maroof Khan would be the Congress candidate for the alliance from the minority dominated seat.
To a specific question as to whether Sonia Gandhi and Mulayam Singh Yadav will take part in electioneering, Rahul said "We will want all those who support our ideology to come with us", declining to divulge the campaign strategy. "There were review meetings run only by her with state functionaries and in-charges; sometimes, no other senior Congress leader was present in the meeting chaired by her", pointed out a senior party leader on the condition of anonymity.
"The Samajwadi Party was capable enough to contest and win the elections alone". Akhilesh Yadav clarified on Monday that the party patriarch would campaign for his candidates. "This is not right, I will not let the party be destroyed like this", Mulayam said.