Bengaluru, Oct 24: For the Samajwadi Party (SP) today the choice is between father and son. The party, which is celebrating its silver jubilee has nothing to smile about.
After Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Akhilesh Yadav sacked four ministers, including uncle Shivpal Yadav, there is talk about the future of the government. Will Akhilesh dissolve it and remain caretaker CM till the elections?
Mulayam Singh Yadav is scheduled to address legislators of the party on Monday. Sources say that there is a chance of a new leader being elected. However, the question is who will the SP elect as their leader?
Akhilesh will like to remain the chief minister, but then the factionalism is likely to increase. If Mulayam presses for Shivpal's name then the Akhilesh faction is unlikely to tow the line. A better option would be for Mulayam himself to take over as the Chief Minister as this is a decision which will go unquestioned.
Political observers say that the chance of the party splitting is very low. The party cannot afford the split ahead of a crucial election. Moreover Mulayam Singh is known to deal with such issues with an iron fist and he will take complete control and keep the party in order, observers also point out.
However, the question is will Mulayam deal with an iron fist when it comes to his son. Akhilesh is clearly angry and sources say that during a meeting with his father, he reminded him that he was the chief minister.
For Mulayam Singh, the tough job ahead is to patch things up between Akhilesh and Shivpal. Akhilkesh and his supporters have constantly pointed to an outside force (read Amar Singh) as the person behind the problem.
Sacking Jayaprada, who is close to Amar Singh, from the post of vice chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Film Development Council made Akhilkesh's intent clear.
The next few days will be crucial for SP. Akhilesh could recommend dissolution of the house and intimate Raj Bhavan about it. He would, however, need the approval of his cabinet for the same. With the Cabinet full off Mulayam loyalists, Akhilesh may find it tough convincing them.
In such a scenario, a meeting of the legislature party would be crucial. Electing a new leader will be the only option at this point. The question, however, is who will it be. Political observers say that in the current scenario, the best bet for SP would its supremo, Mulayam Singh Yadav.